‘Forbidden Planet’ found by astronomers in Neptunian Desert

Exoplanet NGTS-4b- also known as'The Forbidden Planet

Researchers at the University of Warwick remain uncertain why the planet defies logic and exists in its current location.

That term refers to a phenomenon that astronomers had noticed by which there seemed to be an absence of Neptune-size planets that orbit their star in less than four days. It is also possible that the Forbidden Planet may have been a massive world and that its atmosphere of gas is still in the process of evaporating.

"This planet must be tough-it is right in the zone where we expected Neptune-sized planets could not survive", University of Warwick professor Dr. Richard West said in a statement.

The planet was identified by an global team of astronomers using the Next-Generation Transit Survey telescopes (NGTS) at the European Southern Observatory's Paranal facility in the Atacama Desert, Chile.

"So far, people were searching for planets haven't found planets like this". Rather it refers to the principle that a gaseous planet about the size of Neptune-as is the case here-should not be able survive in close proximity to a star.

"Another possibility is that the star is just not emitting the radiation that we thought and somehow it hasn't been enough to evaporate the planet".

"Hot Jupiters" and "Super-Earths", which orbit very close to their stars, usually have missing upper atmospheres that have been blown off into space. Researchers estimate it stokes the planet's atmosphere to a downright infernal 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit or roughly 1,000 Celsius.

When you get close to a blazing star, you can discern a region where medium-sized planets like our own icy Neptune are scarce.

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It was found by the method known as Transit Photometry.

The "Forbidden Planet" orbits a star called NGTS-4, which is located about 920 light-years away from Earth. The NGTS is found at the European Southern Observatory's Paranal Observatory at the Atacama Desert in Chile.

"When looking for new exoplanets we look for a dip in the light of a star - this the planet orbiting it and blocking the light", the astronomers said.

The NTGS telescope can capture dips as small as 0.2%, compared to a typical telescope that can only pick up dips above 1%. However, NGTS-4b still retains its atmosphere.

This rare and rogue oasis has left West and his colleagues wondering if the Neptunian Deserts are greener than we once thought.

"It's really remarkable that we found a planet in transition in front of a star only decreasing 0.2% of its brightness".

The researchers suspect that NGTS-4b may have only recently moved into the Neptunian Desert, perhaps over the last million years.

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