"As one of the pioneers of exoplanet science and a key figure behind the Kepler mission, it was particularly fitting to have Dave be part of this confirmation".
An artist's illustration of a Kepler-1658-like system.
"Confirming that Kepler's first exoplanet candidate really is a planet is a wonderful legacy result, which brings things full-circle, now that Kepler has finished taking data", Bill Chaplin, an author of the study from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, said in a statement.
First Planet Discovered With NASA's Kepler Telescope Finally Confirmed, 10 Years On
With the size of the host star being off, the size of Kepler-1658b was "vastly underestimated". Kepler-1658b is so close to its host star that NASA says the star would appear 60-times larger in diameter than the sun viewed from Earth. Another common ratio for planetary orbits is 3-to-2 - three orbits of the closer planet for two orbits of the planet that's farther away, lead study author Sarah Millholland, a doctoral candidate in the Astronomy Department at Yale University in CT, told Live Science in an email.
Together, Chontos and an global team of astronomers have a paper on the planet that has been accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal. Despite being the first-ever planet candidate presented by the telescope in 2011, Kepler-1658 b took a lot of time to be confirmed. One possible reason is that hot Jupiters eventually spiral into their host stars.
Dan Huber, co-author, and an astronomer at the University of Hawaii said, "We alerted Dave Latham (a senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and co-author on the paper) and his team collected the necessary spectroscopic data to unambiguously show that Kepler-1658b is a planet".More news: Trump watched Super Bowl with founder of spa linked to Kraft
Compared to the Sun, Kepler-1658 (also known as KOI-4.01 and KIC 3861595) is 1.45 times more massive and three times larger.
Ashley Chontos from the University of Hawaii, who studied Kepler 1658b's data set, analysed the planet for her first year research project. This, in turn, means that the planet is three times larger, revealing that Kepler-1658b is actually a hot Jupiter.
Kepler-1658b - for that is now the world's official name - zips around its host star in an incredibly tight orbit, completing one lap every 3.8 Earth days.More news: Passengers quarantined at Gatwick Airport after sickness outbreak
"Kepler-1658 is a flawless example of why a better understanding of host stars of exoplanets is so important." said Chontos. A Neptune-size world orbiting a sunlike star would not produce an observable secondary eclipse, astronomers said. "It also tells us that there are many treasures left to be found in the Kepler data".
In total, the mission discovered more than 2,600 confirmed exoplanets, according to NASA.
Researchers do not yet have direct measurements confirming that these planets have significant axial tilts that are greater than Earth's 23-degree tilt.More news: Maryland weather: Snow possible Friday, but temperatures will reach 60s on Sunday
The now-retired Kepler space telescope transformed our understanding of planets outside the Solar System, demonstrating that they are ubiquitous throughout the universe.