Coconuts-2b is a rarity among exoplanet discoveries: a relatively cool, massive gas giant, orbiting its star at a great distance. The closest directly imaged exoplanet to Earth to date – at a distance of just 35 light-years.
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Coconuts-2b huge orbital distance will have other benefits for future research, too. It may be able to help us better understand how gas giants form, a process that we still don’t understand very well – and taking a closer look at it will help us better understand gas giant diversity.
Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System. Recently, scientists discovered an exoplanet that is 6 times larger than Jupiter. The planet is called Coconuts-2b.
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The gas giant is really gigantic with six times the mass of Jupiter. It’s named after the Cool Companions on Ultrawide Orbits (Coconuts) poll. The planet is called Coconuts-2b and its star system is Coconuts-2. The survey had previously revealed a star system called Coconuts-1.
Coconuts-2b is still quite young, up to only around 800 million years; Coconuts-2bwarm temperature is residual heat from the exoplanet’s formation, trapped inside the massive exoplanet, six times the mass of Jupiter.
The Coconuts-2b planet was first sighted in 2011, but researchers thought it was all alone with no host star. But now researchers found that the planet is actually orbiting its star at a distance 6,000 times greater than Earth’s orbiting the sun.
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What made it visible is that, although it’s cool for a gas giant exoplanet, it’s still pretty warm, with a temperature of around 434 Kelvin (161 degrees Celsius, or 322 degrees Fahrenheit). Orbiting a low-mass red dwarf star, Coconuts-2b, is part of the newly titled COCONUTS-2 planetary system.
The views on Coconuts-2b would be pretty radical compared to what we’re used to on Earth. “The time of day and night would basically look the same, with the host star appearing as a bright red star in the dark sky.
Nevertheless, since the energy production is one million times weaker than the sun’s, the study authors were only able to identify it through lower-energy infrared light.
To see it, they continued, could use infrared sensors by a sensitive telescope. Moreover, when the Coconuts-2b planet is also claimed to have six times the mass of Jupiter. The reason for the name is because it stands for the Cool Companions on Ultrawide Orbits (Coconut) survey.
Learning exoplanets will help us be taught concerning the historical past of our personal photo voltaic system. “With its huge orbital separation,” stated Zhang, “Coconuts-2b will be a great laboratory for studying the atmosphere and composition of a young gas-giant planet.”