There is an as-yet-unseen population of Jupiter-like planets orbiting nearby Sun-like stars, awaiting discovery by future missions like NASA’s WFIRST space telescope, according to new models of gas giant planet formation by observational astronomer Alan Boss, supported by a new Science paper on the surprising discovery of a gas giant planet orbiting a low-mass star. Boss’s work focuses on the Astrometric Planet Search project, which has been underway for the last decade at Carnegie Institute’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile..
“Our study is the first to use observed signals to derive exoplanet magnetic field strengths,” says Evgenya Shkolnik at Arizona State University. “These signals appear to come from interactions between the magnetic fields of the star and the tightly orbiting planet.”
Astrobiologists predict that alien moons may prove to be hotspots for life in the Milky Way. Rogue moons, dubbed “ploonets”, could explain several puzzling phenomena, not the least of which is why astronomers have so far confirmed the existence of at least 4098 exoplanets, but not a single alien moon.
I Tau b is a paradoxical planet, but new research about the hot Jupiter’s mass, brightness and the carbon monoxide in its atmosphere is starting to answer questions about how a planet so large could have formed around a star that’s only two million years old.