NASA citizen scientists have discovered a giant Jupiter-like exoplanet using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The giant gaseous planet, named according to NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, orbits a star of the same mass as our sun, about 379 light-years from Earth.
TOI-2180 b has almost three times the mass of Jupiter but the same diameter. The newly discovered exoplanet has an average temperature of about 170 degrees Fahrenheit, which is warmer than room temperature on Earth and warmer than the exoplanets of our solar system, including Jupiter and Saturn. In 2020, citizen scientist Tom Jacobs in Bellevue, Washington, noticed an image showing the starlight from TOI-2180 had dimmed, according to an article published on NASA’s website on February 1. to 0.5%, then return to the previous brightness level within 24 hours.
Since then, Jacobs’ visual investigation team, consisting of several citizen scientists and two senior astronomers, has informed two professional scientist collaborators — Paul Dalba of UC Riverside and Assistant Professor Diana of the University of New Mexico. Dragomir raised the alarm. Observations were then made using the Automatic Planetary Explorer Telescope at the Lick Observatory in California and the Keck I telescope at the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii.
Over 27 hours of observations, they observed the planet’s gravitational tug on the star, which allowed them to calculate the planet’s mass and estimate a range of possibilities for its orbit. The team predicts that TESS will see the planet pass its star again in February 2022.
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