When an exoplanet passes in front of its host star from our point of view, astronomers call it a transit event. In some cases, the exoplanet doesn’t transit entirely inside of the host star’s disc, and astronomers refer to this event as a grazing transit.
Image Credit: Spaceanswers.com
Exoplanetary transit events often help astronomers discern distant worlds and details about them, but grazing transit events can provide similar insight. In fact, a new paper published on the arXiv.org server depicts a recently-discovered hot Jupiter-like exoplanet that presented itself by way of a grazing transit event.
Dubbed WASP-174b, astronomers found the exoplanet while perusing spectrographic data captured from the heavens with the WASP-South telescope located at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO). The team purportedly validated their findings by comparing them with data collected by a bevy of other observatories.
"We report here the discovery of a hot Jupiter found as a candidate in the WASP-South transit survey and confirmed by Doppler tomography using the ESO 3.6-m/HARPS spectrograph, together with follow-up photometry from the TRAPPISTSouth and SPECULOOS Southern Observatory telescopes," the paper explains.
The study indicates that WASP-174b sports a radius equivalent to 0.7-1.7 Jupiters and about 1.3 times the mass. It also reveals how WASP-174b rotates once every 4.4 days and that it orbits its host star within 0.0555 AU once every 4.23 days. Given how closely WASP-174b orbits its host star, the exoplanet is undoubtedly too hot to support life.
Grazing transit events like this one often leave a lot to be desired when it comes to measurement data, so these estimates should be taken with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, but the findings are still substantial because they've confirmed the existence of another previously-unknown world.
It should be interesting to see if any future observations shed additional light on the astronomers’ most recent findings.