The planet WASP-79b is 1.7 times the radius of Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System. Indeed, WASP-79b is one of the largest planets ever found anywhere.

WASP-79b is roughly the same mass as Jupiter which means that, given its large size, it is much less dense.

The star WASP-79 is 1.64 times the radius of the Sun. Its spectral type is F3 which makes it much hotter than our Sun. It has a brightness of visual magnitude 10.1.

WASP-79b orbits at a distance of 8.06 million km, taking 3.66 days to go round its orbit.

WASP-79 lies in the constellation of Eridanus. Its coordinates are right ascension 04:25:29.0 and declination −30:36:02. The star is at a distance of 240 parsecs from us.

The brightest stars in the plot have magnitude −1 and the faintest have magnitude 6, so,, with a visual magnitude 10.1 WASP-79 is much fainter than these stars. You would need a small telescope to see it.

WASP-79b is an a polar orbit! That means that it passes over the poles of the star that it transits. We don’t fully understand why some hot-Jupiter planets are in polar orbits, but we suspect that such planets are being perturbed by the gravity of unseen planets further out in the system.

The discovery of WASP-79b was announced in 2012 in a paper led by Barry Smalley of Keele University in the UK. Dr Smalley is the WASP project’s expert in interpreting the spectra of the stars that WASP planets orbit.

For more information visit http://exoplanet.eu/catalog/wasp-79_b/.