An exoplanet with a tail length of 563,000 km is found

Astronomers are now on their way to uncovering a mysterious world outside our Solar System. The result of their productive research is the discovery of more than 5,500 exoplanets, and each new one turns out to be unexpected and exciting. Among these amazing discoveries is the exoplanet WASP–69b, which is striking in its uniqueness: It is a celestial body with a comet-like tail 563,000 km long.

The 563,000 km long tail of the planet WASP-69b. Illustration: Space Engine

WASP-69b is slightly larger than Jupiter in size, but its features make it a real exception among hot Jupiters. This exoplanet, less dense than our largest gas giant, orbits its star in just 3.9 Earth days. The main feature of WASP-69b is the impressive tail, which turns out to be the atmosphere of the planet, which is blown away and forms a comet-like structure behind itself under the influence of stellar winds. 

According to the study, WASP-69b can lose up to 200,000 tons of atmospheric mass every second. But researchers believe that the planet will retain its atmosphere throughout its life. This feature makes the exoplanet and its tail an interesting object for further observations, especially considering that other planets with similar tails are already known. Many of them are also hot Jupiters located close to their stars.

The star WASP-69 with the exoplanet WASP-69b in its orbit. Illustration: Space Engine 

The loss of atmospheric mass, according to scientists, is typical for many similar exoplanets, and WASP-69b is a great opportunity to study this phenomenon closer. This unique observation allows us to better understand the processes of planet formation under extreme conditions.

Perhaps one day this exoplanet and its mysterious and lush tail will help define a new generation of space exploration and discovery. This exciting discovery is described in a study published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Earlier, we reported on how giant storms were raging in the atmosphere of the “hot Jupiter” WASP-121b.

According to BGR

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