Retired telescope found 7 superhot exoplanets orbiting the same star | Technology News

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Data from NASA’s retired Kepler space telescope helped scientists discover seven scorching hot planets orbiting the same star.

Artist’s impression of two of the seven planets. (NASA/Daniel Rutter)

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NASA’s Kepler space telescope retired from duty in 2018, but the data it collected continues to yield scientific treasures. A team of researchers continuously studying data from the Kepler discovered seven searing hot planets orbiting one star. Each of them gets more radiant heat from their star per area than any planet in our solar system.

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All the planets in the Kepler-385 system are larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. It is one of the few systems known to host more than six verified planets or even planet candidates. At its centre, there is a star a lot like the Sun, except it is 10 per cent larger and 5 per cent hotter. The two inner planets are both slightly larger than Earth, but scientists believe they could be rocky and might even have a thin atmosphere.

The other five are much larger, each having a radius twice that of Earth’s. They are expected to be covered in thick atmospheres.

“We’ve assembled the most accurate list of Kepler planet candidates and their properties to date. NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered the majority of known exoplanets, and this new catalogue will enable astronomers to learn more about their characteristics,” said Jack Lissauer, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley and lead author on the paper presenting a new catalogue. The Kepler-385 system is among the major highlights of a new Kepler catalogue that contains nearly 4,4000 planet candidates and more than 700 multi-planet systems.

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First published on: 04-11-2023 at 11:27 IST


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