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Newly found exoplanet will be consumed by its host star soon: study

Future observations using the recently-launched James Webb Space Telescope could reveal more details about these newly-discovered planets.

Artist’s rendition of what a planetary system similar to the planets discovered might look like. (Karen Teramura/IfA)

Three giant planets are orbiting dangerously close to their stars and will be consumed by their stars, a new study said. The host stars are also nearing the end of their lives, it added.

NASA’s TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) Mission spotted these exoplanets, named TOI-2337b, TOI-4329b and TOI-2669b, that have short-period orbits around giant stars.

The international team of researchers said that TOI-2337b will be consumed by its host star in less than one million years. This is sooner than the time estimated for any other currently known planet.

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“These discoveries are crucial to understanding a new frontier in exoplanet studies: how planetary systems evolve over time,” explained lead author Samuel Grunblatt in a release. He added that “these observations offer new windows into planets nearing the end of their lives before their host stars swallow them up.”

The study has been accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal.

The researchers note that these planets could have masses between 0.5 and 1.7 times Jupiter’s mass.

“We expect to find tens to hundreds of these evolved transiting planet systems with TESS, providing new details on how planets interact with each other, inflate, and migrate around stars, including those like our Sun,” said Nick Saunders, a co-author of the study.

The data from TESS was studied using W. M. Keck Observatory’s High-Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) in Hawai?i and the existence of the exoplanets was confirmed.

“The Keck observations of these planetary systems are critical to understanding their origins, helping reveal the fate of solar systems like our own,” said Astronomer Daniel Huber, who co-authored the study.

The team added that future observations using the recently-launched James Webb Space Telescope could reveal more details about these newly-discovered planets.

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