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May 29, 2019

Astronomers Find Distant “Forbidden Planet” In “Neptunian Desert”

Posted by in category: space

And more Earth-like planets could be found hiding in nearby star systems.


An international team of astronomers says it’s discovered a rogue exoplanet three times the size of Earth — in an orbit that was thought to be impossible, meaning more Earth-like planets could be found hiding in nearby star systems.

No exoplanets with gas atmospheres were previously thought be able to orbit this close to a star — a region known as the “Neptunian Desert” — as the gas would evaporate and leave just a rocky core. Until, that is, this team located NGTS-4b, which they’re calling a “forbidden planet.”

Air Gap

The astronomers believe NGTS-4b could’ve either just moved into position in the last million years, or that its atmosphere could be in the process of evaporating.

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