An worldwide team of scientists has discovered a small exoplanet in a region of the universe close to stars where no Neptune-sized worlds typically exist.
Or another possiblity is NGTS-4b may have once been very far larger and the atmosphere is still evaporating. The planet lies in an area known as the Neptunian Desert, which is the name given to the region immediately surrounding a star where planets of similar size to Neptune are nearly never found.
Researchers have found a "forbidden" planet roughly three times the size of Earth in an area known as the Neptunian Desert, a place where it should not exist.More news: Ashford's Boots store will remain open despite news of 200 closures
Daniel Bayliss, an assistant professor in the department of physics at the University of Warwick who worked on the research, said the newly discovered exoplanet is "very, very close" to its star. However the Forbidden Planet has retained its gaseous shroud, although it is unlikely to host alien life due to a temperature exceeding 1,000C. 'NGTS-4b: A sub-Neptune Transiting in the Desert.' Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (in press).
NGTS-4b, a newly-discovered world orbiting a distant star, doesn't follow numerous rules that researchers thought they knew, and it's earned the nickname "The Forbidden Planet" because of it. A dip usually means a planet orbiting a star is blocking its light.
The researchers propose two possible explanations for the planet's location: firstly, the planet may only have moved into its current position recently-perhaps in the last million years or so-or the atmosphere could have been very big and it is still evaporating. However, the telescopes at the NGTS facility can pick up dips even as small as 0.2 percent. And the planet has its own atmosphere.More news: More Xbox games are heading to Steam, and probably Epic Store too
Also known as NGTS-4b, the exoplanet has a mass of 20 Earth's and a radius that is 20 percent smaller than Neptune.
'It is truly remarkable that we found a transiting planet via a star dimming by less than 0.2% - this has never been done before by telescopes on the ground, and it was great to find after working on this project for a year.
"We are now searching our data for other similar planets to help us understand how dry this Neptunian Desert is, or whether it is greener than was once thought", said Gillen.
The findings of the worldwide study are featured in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.More news: Hazard Could Challenge For The Ballon d'Or At Madrid, Says Fàbregas