NASA’s Chandra Captures X-Ray Observations Of Eclipsing Exoplanet [PHOTO]

The eclipsing exoplanet, HD 189733b, was found in the system HD 189733,reports NASA, and is a mere 63 light-years from Earth. HD 189733b is a gas giant that orbits incredibly close to its parent star. Due to their size and composition, researchers have named these types of planets hot Jupiters. HD 189733b orbits its star once every 2.2 days, notes NASA, and is 30 times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun. NASA’s Chandra was able to perform X-ray observations of six transits of the planet around its star, and the European Space Agency’s XMM Newton Observatory was able to conduct X-ray observations of one transit of the planet around its star, giving researchers a new set of X-ray data on exoplanets.

Previous observations of exoplanets have been obtained via optical light, notes lead author Katja Poppenhaeger of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “Finally being able to study one in X-rays is important because it reveals new information about the properties of an exoplanet,” said Poppenhaeger. Researchers have previously used NASA’s Kepler telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope to observe HD 189733b, notes NASA.


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