WASP-103b is a planet that orbits an F-type star 1500 light-years from Earth. The planet is roughly one-and-a-half times the size of Jupiter, and the star is more massive than the Sun. On Tuesday, a group of scientists from around the world released new results in the journal of Astronomy & Astrophysics that reveal the planet's strange form for the first time, they say it looks more like a potato or an egg.
The researchers put together the strange structure of WASP-103 using data from NASA's Hubble and Spitzer satellite observatories and the European Space Agency's CHEOPS mission. From our perspective, the planet routes WASP-103, passing around its home star. The latter is one of the most used planet-hunting techniques, in which a camera observes how much a distant star dims as an exoplanet passes in front of it. The planet's fading can provide a lot of information about it, along with its size. However, this study uses a different technique, studying WASP-103's light profiles to infer the form of its planet.
The combined method reveals that the planet extends at its equator, tugged into an oblong form by tidal forces – something that has never been seen before in our Planetary System since terrestrial stars are all too distant away from the Light to have such a dramatic impact. Even Jupiter's moon Io, which is pushed and dragged by Jupiter throughout its 42-hour circular phase, maintains a fairly spherical shape. Because WASP-103b is close to its galaxy WASP-103, which is around fifty times nearer towards its sun than the world is to its sun, the solar system period lasted only 22 hours, whereas the earth's cycle lasts 365 days. The WASP-103b would then be exposed to immense gravitational acceleration, that would not shatter it and preserve its unique spherical form.
The solar system deformation is thought to just provide knowledge about its interior structure, such as whether it is more stony or gaseous, and Susanna Barros of the European Space Agency remarked in a statement that "the reluctance of a substance" to deform relies on its composition. The planet's significant distortion is most likely due to its close closeness to its star and its higher impact on the force of gravity known as the equatorial bulge. Here is where the popular "potato" comparison comes from.
Further research into WASP-103b will aid scientists in better understanding the planet's interior structure and how it influences the world's environment, which is puffy in contrast to Jupiter. These examinations will also assist determine whether the planet is migrating away from the source and, if so, what is generating it.
WASP-103b and other tidal currents planets might be studied by the recently deployed James Webb Space Telescope, according to the ESA. We're excited and see what other weird planets the telescope uncovers.
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