The planet WASP-72b is 1.27 times the radius of Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System. That makes it vastly larger than Earth.

WASP-72b is about one and a half times the mass of Jupiter and so is about the same density as Jupiter.

The star WASP-72 is 1.98 times the radius of the Sun. Its spectral type is F7 which makes it hotter than our Sun. It has a brightness of visual magnitude 9.6.

WASP-72b orbits at a distance of 5.55 million km, taking 2.22 days to go round its orbit.

WASP-72 lies in the constellation of Fornax. Its coordinates are right ascension 02:44:10.0 and declination −30:20:09. It is at a distance of 425 parsecs away from us.

The brightest stars in the plot have magnitude 2 and the faintest have magnitude 6, so, with a visual magnitude 9.6, WASP-72 is much fainter than these stars. But you might see it in a good pair of binoculars if you knew exactly where to look.

WASP-72b orbits close to a hot star, so is blasted by high irradiation. Despite this it is not as large as some other highly irradiated hot Jupiter planets. This shows that we don’t fully understand what determines how large such planets are.

The host star, WASP-72 is notable for showing one of the lowest indicators of how magnetically active it is. The plot at right shows the magnetic activity of stars (y-axis) against their colour (x-axis). WASP-72 is right at the bottom. Staab et al, who found this out, suggest that signs of magnetic activity might be being hidden by a cloud of material blasted off the planet by the high irradiation.

WASP-72b was discovered by WASP-South, the Southern WASP camera array situated in South Africa. It was announced in 2012 in a paper led by Michaël Gillon of the University of Liège in Belgium. Prof. Gillon built the TRAPPIST-South telescope which has observed transits of many WASP-South planets.

For more information visit http://exoplanet.eu/catalog/wasp-72_b/.