Astronomers predicted the death of an exoplanet

An international team of researchers announced the discovery of a doomed exoplanet. In just a few million years, it will fall onto its star.
Exoplanet Kepler-1658b as imagined by an artist. Source: Gabriel Perez Diaz/Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

The exoplanet Kepler-1658b was discovered back in 2009. Interestingly, it became the first extrasolar world whose transit was recorded by the recently launched Kepler space telescope. But, despite this, astronomers needed another ten years to finally confirm the existence of this body.

Kepler-1658b is a typical hot Jupiter. It orbits an evolved spectral class F star located 2,600 light-years from Earth. The mass of the exoplanet is six times the mass of Jupiter, and the orbit passes at a distance of only 0.05 a. u. (7 million km) from the parent star. Because of this, its atmosphere is heated to high temperatures.

While analyzing the data on the transits of Kepler-1658b, collected by the space telescopes Kepler and TESS, as well as ground-based observatories, astronomers discovered something interesting. The rotation period of the exoplanet is decreasing at a rate of about 131 ms per year. That might seem like a small amount until you consider how close Kepler-1658b’s orbit is to its star.

According to scientists, this slowdown is caused by the influence of tidal forces from the side of the star. It was largely influenced by the fact that the luminary reached the end of its life cycle and began to expand. The researchers’ calculations show that Kepler-1658b will fall to its star in mere 2.5 million years (which is not much by astronomical standards).

Earlier we talked about another gas giant, which is also doomed to a quick demise.

Based on materials from