Hot Jupiters are gas giant planets, somewhat similar to Saturn or Jupiter, but instead, they orbit very close to their host stars with orbital periods of less than 10 days. Because these planets are very near their parent star, they are heated to extreme temperatures and are actually unlike any in our own Solar System.
These planets are the easiest ones to discover around other stars, so we know of several hundred of them, yet overall, they are quite rare in the Galaxy. Very few stars like the Sun have such planets. On the other hand, these type of planets are the easiest ones to study in detail. That means we can measure their masses, radii, eccentricities, and orbital orientations, and in some cases we can even examine their atmospheres in detail, revealing surprising properties.
Join Tony Darnell and Carol Christian on January 26, 2017 at 3PM Eastern time, as they discuss with Joel Hartman (Princeton University) and collaborators as they discuss how they found these unusual alien planets and characterized their interesting properties.