Rogue 'Forbidden' planet defies its star's death zone

CNET | 5/29/2019 | Amanda Kooser
Kaliela101Kaliela101 (Posted by) Level 3
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This illustration shows what NGTS-4b might look like.

Kevlar. Diamonds. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Planet NGTS-4b. That's a short list of things that are tough.

Team - Astronomers - University - Warwick - UK

An international team led by astronomers with the University of Warwick in the UK issued an announcement this week that sounds like a summary for a Star Trek episode: "The 'Forbidden' Planet has been found in the 'Neptunian Desert.'"

NGTS-4b is an exoplanet that's 20% smaller than Neptune, but still three times the size of Earth. It's located 920 light-years away from us in an area known as a Neptunian Desert.

Desert - Region - Stars - Planets - University

"The Neptunian Desert is the region close to stars where no Neptune-sized planets are found," the University of Warwick said. "This area receives strong irradiation from the star, meaning the planets do not retain their gaseous atmosphere as they evaporate leaving just a rocky core."

But NGTS-4b, nicknamed the Forbidden planet, has a gaseous atmosphere. Astronomers discovered the rogue planet by using the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) observing facility at European Southern Observatory's Paranal Observatory in Chile.

Planet - Zone - Planets

"This planet must be tough -- it is right in the zone where we expected Neptune-sized planets...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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