Lone Planet Has Most Strange Orbit Ever Detected

Lone Planet Has Most Strange Orbit Ever Detected

Credit: ESA, NASA, G Tinetti (University College London, UK & ESA) şi M Lornmesser (ESA/Hubble)
Credit: ESA, NASA, G Tinetti (University College London, UK & ESA) şi M Lornmesser (ESA/Hubble)

Nearly 600 light years away, a planet shows us the unexpected.

Being four times the size of Jupiter and orbiting a star much larger than our Sun, HD76920b is discovered to orbit its star on a very extreme elongated orbit, more likely appearing to be a comet at a first sight.

The planet gets very close to the star, and then moves away almost twice as far as the distance between the Earth and the Sun. It’s situated in the constellation of Volans (the flying fish constellation).

“The planet gets very close to the surface of the star, and then moves away almost twice as far as the distance between the Earth and the Sun. It’s the first time we’ve found a planet on an orbit anything like this around one of these evolved stars. And that’s really interesting and exciting to us, because it tells us something about how planets form and how they interact with one another,” said study co-author Jonti Horner of the University of Southern Queensland.

Exoplanet HD76920b's orbit resembles a comet or near-Earth asteroid such as 3200 Phaethon. Credit: R Wittenmyer et al / abc.net.au
Exoplanet HD76920b’s orbit resembles a comet or near-Earth asteroid such as 3200 Phaethon. Credit: R Wittenmyer et al / abc.net.au

For unknown reasons, planets like this are discovered being alone inside of its system, trapped with their own star, fact that will help us understand the movement of these cosmic objects in the future – scientists think.

“There are no other stars, there’s no other big planet or object obviously further away that would have caused it to become this eccentric,” said Dr O’Toole of the Australian Astronomical Observatory.

Researchers made up calculations and found out that the planet will be devoured by its star in almost 100 million years, which is “reall soon, on a cosmic scale” said Dr Horner.

 

Refference: abc news

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