NASA has provided an update on the newly-confirmed exoplanet named Kepler-1658b, stating that it is “a massive hot Jupiter that whips around its star every 3.85 days.” The exoplanet is said to be one of the known planets that orbit a star whose future version can be equated with the present Sun in the Milky Way galaxy.
The found data on the Kepler-1658b also divulge information about what stops planets from spiraling into their host stars that should have occurred due to the complex physical interactions between closely situated celestial objects.
Ashley Chontos, a graduate student of the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy, is the lead author of the team at the University of Hawaii who decided to refer back to Kepler data to search for re-analyzable targets in 2017. This team has produced the paper entitled ‘The Curious Case of KOI 4: Confirming Kepler’s First Exoplanet Detection’ and is to be credited with providing refined analysis of Kepler data and consequently getting the Kepler-1658b confirmed as a planet.
The confirmation of the Kepler-1658b has been through rough times, with its candidature moving from planet candidate to false positive to finally a confirmed exoplanet. The data refinement through new software proved that the Kepler-1658b was a potential planet and not a data anomaly. The exoplanet was confirmed in February 2019 through the usage of NASA’s Kepler telescope.
Our new analysis, which uses stellar sound waves observed in the Kepler data to characterize the star, demonstrated that the star is in fact three times larger than previously thought. This in turn means that the planet is three times larger, revealing that Kepler-1658b is actually a hot Jupiter – Chontos
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She adds that “Kepler-1658 is a perfect example of why a better understanding of host stars of exoplanets is so important. It also tells us that there are many treasures left to be found in the Kepler data.”
The exoplanet is so large that from its surface, the star it is orbiting will appear 60x more massive in diameter than what from the Earth the sun is seen to be.
Dan Huber, co-author and astronomer at the University of Hawaii discussed the confirmation of the exoplanet by saying, “We alerted Dave Latham (a senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and co-author on the paper) and his team collected the necessary spectroscopic data to unambiguously show that Kepler-1658b is a planet,” and credited Dave Latham, one of the pioneers of exoplanet science, as one of the most significant figures responsible for the Kepler mission.