Published: Sat, June 01, 2019
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Research: Astronomers find 'Forbidden' planet in 'Neptunian Desert' around its star

Research: Astronomers find 'Forbidden' planet in 'Neptunian Desert' around its star

The planet orbits its star very closely, completing a full orbit in just 1.3 days.

Richard West, a professor in the department of physics at the University of Warwick who worked on the research, called the discovery "truly remarkable" in a press release.

It's about three times the size of Earth and 920 light-years away from our planet.

Something unusual has to be happening for The Forbidden Planet to still have its atmosphere.

The Desert Wanderer " This planet must be tough - it is right in the zone where we expected Neptune-sized planets could not survive", says Dr.

NGTS-4b, which has its own atmosphere, has been nicknamed "The Forbidden Planet". We think it's probably about 1,000℃ on this planet. The researchers are now probing the desert for more, trying to figure out how these oases would survive.

"Another possibility is that the star is just not emitting the radiation that we thought and somehow it hasn't been enough to evaporate the planet". It also seems to retain an atmosphere, which particularly surprised the researchers, since at such a close distance to its star it would be hard for the planet to cling to gas. The planet is estimated to be around 1,000 degrees Celsius.

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Because it's so close to its host star, NGTS-4b falls into what is known as the Neptunian Desert, which is understandably quite unexpected for a Neptunian planet. The telescopes will focus on discovering Neptune-sized and smaller planets, with diameters between two and eight times that of Earth.

Astronomers have discovered a very rare, very unusual planet in a distant solar system.

"Since this transit is so shallow, NGTS-4b wasn't initially one of our top priority targets".

Dr Bayliss and his colleagues suspect the planet may have moved into the "Neptunian Desert" only recently, in the last 1 million years, or it's very big and so its atmosphere is still evaporating. "We are now scouring out data to see if we can see any more planets in the Neptune Desert-perhaps the desert is greener than was once thought", said physicist Richard West, with the University of Warwick.

An worldwide team of astronomers led by the University of Warwick has found a "forbidden" planet orbiting the "Neptunian Desert" of another star. Moreover, he claims that the fact that they managed to identify such planet dimming by less than 0.2% is a first for ground telescopes, and that this motivates the team to further look for planets in the Neptune Desert.

The hardy planet was discovered by the team using the Next-Generation Transit Survey, an array of 12 ground-based telescopes lying in the Atacama desert in Chile.

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