An international team of astronomers has identified a strange exoplanet – which should not exist according to their calculations.
Investigating the oscillations of a star system at 364 light-years, Space.com reports, the team discovered that the exoplanet had apparently been swallowed whole by its star when it became a red giant. Still, it seems that the planet still exists.
The discovery may compel astronomers to rethink the way stars live and die – and what happens to their exoplanets.
A star becomes a red giant towards the end of its life cycle, its outer atmosphere balloons outward and its outer surface reaches extremely hot temperatures. Depending on its size, it may explode into a supernova to form a black hole or collapse into an extremely dense white dwarf.
Analyzing NASA transit exoplanet data, the team concluded that the star was likely swallowed. her unlocked planet ̵
'Star analysis seems to suggest that the star has evolved too far to still host a planet at such a' short 'orbital distance, while from exoplanet analysis we know that the planet is there! "Said Vardan Adibekian of the Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, co-author of an article published in the astrophysical journal last week in a statement.
There is another possibility that Adibekian finds probable: the orbit of the exoplanet may move inward after the stage of the red giant of its star.
"The solution to this scientific dilemma lies in the 'simple fact' that stars and theirs not just planets but also to grow together, "said Adibekyan. "In this particular case, the planet was able to avoid being swallowed."
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