Planet Hunters NGTS: A mysterious festive transit

We’ve spotted another transiting object around a star! With unprecedented image resolution we have captured the transit of this festive phenomena seen in the animation below.

The transit has a depth of ~6.5% around this small star that has a radius of only 0.4 Solar radii. That means that we can estimate the size of the transiting object (assuming a spherical Santa) to be R = 9.73 x 0.4 x sqrt(0.065) = 1 Jupiter radius! There were hopes that this would be an Earth ana-yule-logue with a Jingle Bell Rock-y composition but it seems to be a Ho-Ho-Hot Jupiter. The shape of the light curve is more similar to an exo-comet which means that it must be accompanied by an exo-cupid. Further observations will be required to identify additional exo-reindeer. Following its confirmation the festive object has been given the moniker HAT-P-Christmas.

Thank you to my fellow PhD students: Joe Murtagh, for drawing the silhouette of Santa and his reindeer; Lucy Dolan and David Jackson, for their festive-themed exoplanet puns. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

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About astrosobrien

PhD Student at Queen's University Belfast, searching NGTS data for exoplanets with the help of citizen scientists (ngts.planethunters.org).

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  1. ≫ Planet Hunters NGTS: Un misterioso tránsito festivo - December 18, 2022

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