Hot Gas-Giant Exoplanet WASP-43 b (Artist’s Concept)

Hot Gas-Giant Exoplanet WASP-43 b (Artist’s Concept)

This artist’s concept shows what the hot gas-giant exoplanet WASP-43 b could look like. WASP-43 b is a Jupiter-sized planet circling a star roughly 280 light-years away, in the constellation Sextans. The planet orbits at a distance of about 1.3 million miles (0.014 astronomical units, or AU), completing one circuit in about 19.5 hours. Because it is so close to its star, WASP-43 b is probably tidally locked: its rotation rate and orbital period are the same, such that one side faces the star at all times.

Temperature measurements based on the amount of 5- to 12-micron mid-infrared light emitted by the planet show that the nightside is probably covered in thick, high clouds. Spectroscopy measurements indicate the presence of water vapor on both the dayside and nightside. But because it is too hot for liquid water to exist, the clouds are probably made of tiny mineral grains instead of water droplets. A surprising lack of methane on the nightside suggests that strong eastward winds are mixing atmospheric gases around the planet.

This illustration is based on new data gathered by Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) as well as previous observations from other ground- and space-based telescopes, including Hubble and Spitzer. Webb has not captured any images of the planet.



NASA, ESA, CSA, Ralf Crawford (STScI)

About The Object
Object Name WASP-43 b
Object Description Hot Jupiter Exoplanet
R.A. Position 10:19:37.96 
Dec. Position -09:48:23.20
Constellation Sextans
Distance 280 light-years (87 parsecs)
About The Object
Object Name A name or catalog number that astronomers use to identify an astronomical object.
Object Description The type of astronomical object.
R.A. Position Right ascension – analogous to longitude – is one component of an object's position.
Dec. Position Declination – analogous to latitude – is one component of an object's position.
Constellation One of 88 recognized regions of the celestial sphere in which the object appears.
Distance The physical distance from Earth to the astronomical object. Distances within our solar system are usually measured in Astronomical Units (AU). Distances between stars are usually measured in light-years. Interstellar distances can also be measured in parsecs.
Dimensions The physical size of the object or the apparent angle it subtends on the sky.
About The Data
Data Description
  • Proposal: A description of the observations, their scientific justification, and the links to the data available in the science archive.
  • Science Team: The astronomers who planned the observations and analyzed the data. "PI" refers to the Principal Investigator.
Instrument The science instrument used to produce the data.
Exposure Dates The date(s) that the telescope made its observations and the total exposure time.
Filters The camera filters that were used in the science observations.
About The Image
Image Credit The primary individuals and institutions responsible for the content.
Publication Date The date and time the release content became public.
Color Info A brief description of the methods used to convert telescope data into the color image being presented.
Orientation The rotation of the image on the sky with respect to the north pole of the celestial sphere.