Astronomers Find Forbidden Planet 920 Light Years from Earth Like Neptune - One international team of astronomers found a "Forbidden Planet" about 920 light years from Earth. The planet was given the nickname as a forbidden planet by researchers because it was locked in an orbit very close to its parent.

Astronomers describe this forbidden planet similar to Neptune and are very close to its host star. That makes the planet only needs 1.34 days on Earth to complete one orbit.

The orbit configuration of a planet similar to Neptune is even said to be rarely seen. These results are published in the monthly bulletin from the Royal Astronomical Society. To describe the closeness of this orbit, astronomers gave the term "the desert of Neptune".

"The term 'Neptune desert' comes from the observation that there are several medium mass planets in very short (orbital) periods," said Coel Hellier, an astronomer who was not involved in the study.

The position between the planets and stars is regarded by astronomers as something odd. The reason is, with such close proximity, the parent star can burn the planet to its core. Planet with the formal name NGTS-4b actually shows an anomaly and opposes the theory.

This strange object was discovered by a team led by Richard West, a Warwick University astronomer using the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) telescope.

In his report, West said that the size of the planet is about 3 times that of Earth. Through NGTS, West and colleagues found that the planet is moving between Earth and its host star.

Not only that, NGTS also made this team able to observe the planet's rotational rotation length. This is an achievement that has never been done by other ground-based telescopes.

The nickname forbidden planet to NGTS-4b is indeed quite unique. Hellier tried to explain the reasons behind the nickname. According to him, the most likely explanation is that there may not be enough mass in the atmosphere.

"This planet does not have enough mass to survive in its atmosphere, given the fierce heat from so close to its host star," Hellier said.

"That means that he may have been born at a location farther from his star, but has just moved into a short-period orbit," he continued.

Astronomer Hannah Wakeford of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, who was not involved with the new study, said the planet might have been much bigger than it was now.

According to him, the closeness of the planet to the star causes the atmosphere to be blown. As a result, NGTS-4b becomes smaller and denser over time because mass becomes dominated by core mass and not atmospheric mass.

"The way to test whether this is the problem is to look at the transit of planets in ultraviolet (spectrum) looking for signs of hydrogen release from the atmosphere," Wakeford said. (SBB.IN/ENG/*)

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