Astronomers Directly Image Planet Just 35 Light Years Away - ExtremeTech
Jul 30, 2021 45 secs
As the name implies, this project seeks exoplanets with very wide orbits around very cool stars.

Both of those properties should make them easier to spot, as was the case for COCONUTS-2b — yes, there is finally an exoplanet with a good name.

That’s why the COCONUTS program looks for “COol” exoplanets on “Ultrawide orbiTS.” These worlds should be easier to see in telescopes like the 2.2-meter unit at the University of Hawaii, and indeed that seems to be the case with the discovery of COCONUTS-2b by grad student Zhoujian Zhang.

This exoplanet is about six times more massive than Jupiter, and it orbits its host star at a distance of 6,471 astronomical units — one AU is the distance between Earth and the sun.

Because COCONUTS-2b is so huge, it has retained a lot of heat from its formation — astronomers estimate it has a temperature of 322 degrees Fahrenheit (161 degrees Celsius)


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