According to astronomy, planets the size of Neptune couldn’t possibly form and sustain any kind of atmosphere while orbiting their parent stars at a close proximity. But last year, astronomers found exactly this kind of planet! And it’s not the only planet that defies all our knowledge.
Exoplanets are the hottest topic in astronomy right now, and with every new discovery, we’re getting more and more confident of our view of the Universe we live in. But some of those discoveries simply baffle the mind! Will scientists have to reconsider their picture of the Universe? Let’s find out!
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– NGTS-4b is, at least for now, the only known sub-Neptune sized planet that orbits its star in a so-called “Neptunian Desert”.
– This planet still has an atmosphere, and it’s about 80% of the size of Neptune. It orbits the star at an astonishing speed – a full circle in 1.3 days.
– On October 31, 2017, the NGTS-1b planet was discovered. The strange thing about this planet is that it orbits a red dwarf star that’s only half the size of our Sun. This has never been seen before, and in theory, such huge planets shouldn’t orbit stars so small.
– Kepler-78b is the planet is just a little bit bigger than the Earth. It’s supposedly as dense as the Earth and has a similar composition, but it’s even closer to its host star than NGTS-4b. One year on this planet lasts only 8.5 hours.
– As far as we know, there’s absolutely no way for a planet like Kepler-78b to be formed so close to a star, and there’s also no way for it to migrate so close without crashing into the star.
– To a planet that’s so far from its star, it shouldn’t exist. The planet I’m talking about is – prepare yourself because it’s going to be a mouthful – HD 106906 b. For simplicity, lt’s just call it “Bob”.
– The planet is 11 times more massive than Jupiter and is orbiting the binary star at an unimaginable distance.
– There’s a big collection of asteroids, ice, and dust called the Kuiper Belt. Here, other objects – some just as big as Pluto – were discovered.
– Evidence found in 2016 by astronomers Gongjie Li and Fred Adams, suggests that there actually is a strange Planet X in the Solar system. Only, it’s far more distant than even Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.
– The most probable explanation for the Ninth Planet’s distance is that it was once a gas-giant, like Jupiter, but it couldn’t compete, and the gravitational forces of other planets pushed it further away.
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