These extra-solar planets were seen to pass in front of, or transit, their host star. Studying such planets outside of our Solar System allows scientists to investigate how planetary systems form. WASP is the first team to detect planets in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere using this technique.
Dr Coel Hellier, of Keele University, comments "When we see a transit we can deduce the size and mass of the planet and also what it is made of, so we can use these planets to study how solar systems form."
WASP-4 and WASP-5 are the first planets discovered by the WASP project's cameras in South Africa, and were confirmed by a collaboration with Swiss and French astronomers. "These two are now the brightest transiting planets in the Southern hemisphere" said Dr Hellier. WASP-3 is the third planet that the team has found in the North, using the SuperWASP camera sited in the Canary Islands. Dr Don Pollacco, of Queen's University Belfast, said "We are the only team to have found transiting planets in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres; for the first time we have both SuperWASP cameras running, giving complete coverage of the whole sky."
Exoplanet expert Prof Andrew Cameron, of St. Andrews University, comments "All three planets are similar to Jupiter, but are orbiting their stars so closely that their 'year' lasts less than two days. These are among the shortest orbital periods yet discovered.' Being so close to their star the surface temperatures of the planets will be more than 2000 degrees Celsius, so it is unlikely that life as we know it could survive there. But the finding of Jupiter-mass planets around other stars supports the idea that there are also many Earth-sized planets waiting to be discovered as astronomers' technology improves.
The WASP project is the most ambitious project in the world designed to discover large planets. Funding for the project comes from the UK Universities and the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
Note: The discovery of WASP-3, WASP-4 and WASP-5 is being announced by the WASP project this week at an international conference on extrasolar planets in Suzhou (near Shanghai), China.
Chris Stone | alfa
Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State
What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy