Secret planet the size of JUPITER found – and Nasa admits to ‘missing’ it for decades

A TEAM of citizen scientists and astronomers has found a Jupiter-sized planet that NASA missed.

The team announced the discovery of an alien planet floating outside our own planet solar systemlast week in a new research published in the Astronomical Journal.

A group of citizen scientists discovered a new gas giant


A group of citizen scientists discovered a new gas giant

The gas giant is named TOI-2180 b and is located 379 light-years from Earth.

TOI-2180 b takes about 261 days to orbit its host star G5 – much longer than other Jovian-like exoplanets.

The temperature on the planet’s mostly gaseous surface is slightly warmer than room temperature on Earth (about 76 degrees Fahrenheit).

Until recently, evidence for the existence of alien planets remained hidden even to NASA scientists because it was buried deep in data collected by the Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). ) of this agency.

TESS detects exoplanets by detecting small and patterned depressions in a star’s luminosity as the planet transits between the spacecraft and the star.

According to the study, the tool actually collected data on TOI-2180 b in June 2020.

However, because the data only included a “single transit event,” meaning the planet only passed through the starlight once, NASA’s algorithms were unable to detect it.

On the other hand, the team of citizen scientists was able to detect the exoplanet using a downloadable piece of software called LcTools, which allows them to manually sift through the TESS data.

“This is an area that humans are still coding,” said Paul Dalba, UC Riverside astronomer and lead author of the study.

He added: “The manual effort they put in is really important and really impressive because it is really hard to write code that can go through millions of slight curves and identify transit events once. .

While the orbital period of TOI-2180 b is still a bit uncertain, astronomers predict TESS will detect the planet again in February.

The discovery was made using data collected by NASA's TESS spacecraft


The discovery was made using data collected by NASA’s TESS spacecraftImage supplier: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Pain
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Caroline Bleakley

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