There is something strange about a newly discovered planet about 920 light years from Earth.
The planet, described this week in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, is similar to Neptune, which means that it is a gaseous orb about three times the size of Earth and resembles blue marble swept by the wind of our own Solar system. It also inhabits a region of space called the Neptunian Desert, where scientists expected to find exoplanets about the size of Neptune, although this is the first one seen there.
Sure, we've seen your guy before. But the true Neptune is the eighth planet of our sun, and it takes about 165 Earth years to wander through our central star. This planet heats it around its sun in only 1.34 days. This is because it is incredibly close to your host; so close, in fact, that it should not exist at all.
The rocky, hard surface of the Earth may be able to stand strong against the scorching sun, but a planet similar to Neptune, swollen with its own gases, should not last long in the face of a star.
In fact, it should flay immediately to its core, with its atmosphere ejected into space as quickly as a birthday candle. And yet, this orb bathed by the sun somehow manages to keep it together.
"This planet must be hard, it's right in the area where we expected planets the size of Neptune could not survive," says study author Richard West of the University of Warwick, in a statement. "It is truly amazing that we found a planet in transit through a star attenuation of less than 0.2%, this had never been done before with ground-based telescopes, and it was great to find it after working on this project for a year."
All this adds up to the most baffling of space weirdness: a discovery so unexpected that even researchers could not help but be creative with their name.
They call it the Forbidden Planet.
It is possible that the planet has wandered recently from a much more distant place and has found itself in a very bad neighborhood. (Photo: NASA)
But do not worry; These researchers are still scientists for the first time, and moviegoers of the 1950s second. Officially, the international team gave the planet the sober designation of NGTS-4b, a term derived from the Next Generation Transit Survey, the ground-based telescope in the Atacama Desert of Chile that detected the exoplanet.
But Forbidden Planet, with all its strange science fiction, seems a better fit for a world that does not seem to fit our traditional ideas of planetary behavior.
The star that orbits, on the other hand, adheres to the rules of the mbadive burning plasma balls. The researchers estimate that it feeds the planet's atmosphere to a hellish total of 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit or about 1,000 degrees Celsius.
But think: if I could reach the Forbidden Planet, overcoming obstacles like the melting sunlight on my face and the overwhelming absence of lungs from anything remotely breathable, I would be celebrating New Year's Eve almost every day.
Unfortunately, like the planet itself, you probably would not celebrate many of them. While the study authors suggest that NGTS-4b can hold together against the sun, other scientists are not so sure.
"This planet does not have enough mbad to maintain its atmosphere, given the intense heat of being so close to its star," says Gizmodo Coel Hellier, an astronomer at Keele University who was not involved in the study. "That means it's likely that he was born much further away from his star and that he has moved into his current short-period orbit only recently."
This planet, apparently so challenging in front of its sun, probably is not very long for this universe. The Forbidden Planet may, in fact, have wandered from its original station in the solar system, and ended up in a truly forbidden area.
Scientists have found a & # 39; Forbidden Planet & # 39; that has nothing to do with being where it is
A planet similar to Neptune has been discovered so close to its sun that it should not exist.