Giant ‘ultra-light’ planet bigger than Jupiter is ‘super fluffy just like cotton candy’ in bizarre space ‘anomaly’

SCIENTISTS have found a novel, fluffy exoplanet that’s 50% larger than Jupiter over a thousand light-years away.

The exoplanet, named WASP-193b, has a particularly low density that researchers in comparison with cotton sweet.

Scientists have found a brand new exoplanet that’s 50% larger than Jupiter however has a particularly low densityCredit score: NASA
To look at how huge WASP-193b was, scientists measured how a lot star mild the planet coated when it orbitedCredit score: Alysa Obertas/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

“Its extraordinarily low density makes it an actual anomaly among the many greater than 5 thousand exoplanets found up to now,” defined Khalid Barkaoui, a postdoctoral researcher on the College of Liège EXOTIC Laboratory, in line with EurekAlert!.

“This extraordinarily low density can’t be reproduced by customary fashions of irradiated fuel giants, even beneath the unrealistic assumption of a coreless construction.”

It was discovered by the Broad Angle Seek for Planets, which makes use of wide-angle cameras to measure the brightness throughout stars within the sky, by researchers from the EXOTIC Laboratory of the College of Liège, Massachusetts Institute of Know-how, and the Astrophysics Institute of Andalusia.

Scientists consider that its low density is as a result of it’s made up of hydrogen and helium, in line with EurekAlert!.

“The planet is so mild that it is troublesome to consider a similar, solid-state materials,” stated planetary scientist Julien de Wit from the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how, in line with EurekAlert!.

“The rationale why it is near cotton sweet is as a result of each are just about air. The planet is mainly tremendous fluffy.”

That is the second least dense planet found after Kepler 51d, which was present in 2014, and is smaller than WASP-193b, in line with Barkaoui.

The brand new exoplanet is believed to be so mild it might float on water, in line with Sky Information.

It orbits a star much like the Solar, slightly over each six days, over 1,200 mild years away and is considered six billion years previous.


Information from the planet was collected between 2006 and 2008 and once more from 2011 to 2012 by the WASP situated within the southern hemisphere.

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Astronomers believed that the dips in brightness over time aligned with a planet passing in entrance of a star each 6.25 days.

By measuring the quantity of sunshine the planet blocked, researchers had been capable of decide its dimension.

Additionally they used spectroscopic observations to measure the mass of the planet, revealing that it was extraordinarily low.

Scientists calculated that its mass and dimension had been about 0.14 and 1.5 that of Jupiter, respectively.

What’s an exoplanet?

This is what you want to know…

  • An exoplanet is a planet that’s situated outdoors of our photo voltaic system and is orbiting its personal star, like how Earth orbits the Solar
  • They’re very onerous to see with telescopes as a result of they’re usually hidden by the brightness of their star
  • Nasa despatched the Kepler house telescope into orbit to search out Earth-sized exoplanets which may assist life
  • Over 5,500 exoplanets have been found to date, and extra missions to search out much more exoplanets are deliberate
  • A great way to identify an exoplanet is to search for wobbly stars, as a result of a disruption to starlight can point out {that a} planet is orbiting it and subsequently blocking out mild occasionally
  • Exoplanets are quite common within the universe, and the extra we discover that appear to be Earth, the nearer we get to figuring out whether or not we’re alone on the market

Its density was discovered to be about 0.059 grams per cubic centimeter, which is drastically lower than different planets, per EurekAlert!.

Comparatively, Jupiter’s density is about 1.33 grams per cubic centimeter, whereas Earth’s is 5.51 grams per cubic centimeter.

A cloth on Earth that we will examine to this new planet’s density is cotton sweet, which has a density of about 0.05 grams per cubic centimeter.

Researchers speculate that the warmth the star it orbits may very well be making its ambiance puff out.

“WASP-193b is a cosmic thriller. Fixing it should require some extra observational and theoretical work, notably to measure its atmospheric properties with the JWST house telescope and to confront them to totally different theoretical mechanisms that presumably lead to such an excessive inflation”, Barkaoui concluded.

The invention of the cotton sweet planet comes solely days after scientists revealed {that a} fiery “super-Earth” planet referred to as 55 Cancri e might have a wealthy ambiance.

WASP-193b over 1,200 mild years away and is considered six billion years previousCredit score: NASA/ESA/STScI
The density of cotton sweet is how scientists conveyed the density of the brand new planetCredit score: Getty

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