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Inner versus Outer Planets

The inner planets and outer planets have different characteristics.

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Hot Jupiters

Hot Jupiters

Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HD189733b.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

This artist’s representation of a hot Jupiter shows water vapor and methane in the atmosphere.

Amazing But True!

Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:XO-1b.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

XO-1b is an example of a Hot Jupiter planet [Figure2]

  • Hot Jupiters are large planets that orbit very close to their parent star, much closer than our planet Jupiter orbits our Sun.
  • Hot Jupiters are giant gas planets, much like our Jupiter.
  • Our Jupiter takes 12 Earth years to orbit around the Sun. Some hot Jupiters may take only a few days.
  • The temperature of a hot Jupiter is 1000 to 2000 Kelvin.
  • Hot Jupiters make up 20% of all known extrasolar planets.

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With the links below, learn more about hot Jupiters. Then answer the following questions.

  1. How do astronomers identify large exoplanets that they can’t see directly?
  2. What are some of the conditions found on hot Jupiters?
  3. Why were hot Jupiters the first extrasolar planets to be found?
  4. Where in their solar system do hot Jupiters form and how do we know that? How do they end up where they do?
  5. Why isn’t our planet Jupiter a hot Jupiter?
  6. What would our solar system be like if our Jupiter had moved closer in to the Sun and why?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HD189733b.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI); Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:XO-1b.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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