How a Neptune-sized planet will be destroyed by a star, NASA explains | Tech News

How a Neptune-sized planet will be destroyed by a star, NASA explains

This Neptune-sized planet around a bright A-type star, would be rapidly stripped of its gas. Scientists revealed the reasons.

| Updated on: Aug 14 2022, 18:41 IST
This asteroid is worth $10,000 Quadrillion
Neptune-sized planet
1/6 hereas other asteroids are generally made up of ice or rocks, this unique asteroid is made up of nickel, which is one of the building blocks of the solar system. One of the biggest asteroids in our Solar System, the 16 Psyche asteroid is made up of gold, nickel and iron deposits and is supposedly worth more than Earth's economy. The asteroid is worth nearly $10,000 Quadrillion. (NASA)
Neptune-sized planet
2/6 The Psyche Mission will also help scientists to study and understand iron cores, a previously unexplored building block of planet formation. The 16 Psyche asteroid mission is a part of NASA's Discovery missions. (Pixabay)
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3/6 The findings of this mission could enable scientists to develop a way of using asteroids as resources. Asteroids could come in handy when building structures in space, such as bases on other planets or even the Moon. Due to their 85 percent metal structure, they could be an excellent source of minerals. It is even said that the raw materials extracted from asteroids could even exceed the metal reserves present on Earth. (NASA)
Neptune-sized planet
4/6 The mission has been in the phase known as assembly, test, and launch operations since March 2021. Since the launch window is limited, scientists and engineers have worked round the clock in order to finish the spacecraft's assembly in time. However, due to unexpected software issues, the mission has now been delayed and pushed to 2023. (NASA)
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5/6 NASA said, "Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11. The mission team needs more time to ensure that the software will function properly in flight." (NASA)
Neptune-sized planet
6/6 In order to reach the asteroid, the spacecraft will fly by Mars for a gravity assist in May 2023 and, in early 2026, orbit around asteroid Psyche in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. NASA says that the Psyche mission is expected to launch in both 2023 and 2024, but due to the uncertainties, the exact dates of these potential launch periods are yet to be determined. (NASA)
Neptune-sized planet
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A new exoplanet named HD 56414 b was discovered by NASA's TESS mission. Know how it is different from other planets found so far. (Representative Image)

Astronomers are constantly on the lookout for exoplanets. So far, they have found thousands of them but, more than 99 percent of them orbit smaller stars. Only a few of these have been discovered to be orbiting around really big stars, like the A-type stars, that are bright blue stars twice the size of the Sun. Most of these observed exoplanets are almost as large as Jupiter. In the latest development, astronomers from the University of California, Berkeley have reported the discovery of a new Neptune-sized exoplanet, known as HD 56414 b. The new planet with a radius 3.7 times that of Earth, was detected by NASA's TESS mission.

The study revealed that it is orbiting around one of the giant A-type stars which will provide a hint about why only a few of such planets, smaller than Jupiter, have been revolving around the 1 percent of the brightest stars in our galaxy. This newly found planet has a longer orbital period unlike the other exoplanets discovered so far with short, rapid orbital periods around their stars.

Shockingly, the NASA report suggests that this Neptune-sized planet around a bright A-type star, would be rapidly stripped of its gas due to the harsh stellar radiation and would be condensed to an undetectable core.

"It's one of the smallest planets that we know of around these really massive stars. In fact, this is the hottest star we know of with a planet smaller than Jupiter. This planet's interesting first and foremost because these types of planets are really hard to find, and we're probably not going to find many like them in the foreseeable future," a report quoted Steven Giacalone, a UC Berkeley graduate student.

The discovery of this new Neptune-sized planet outside the zone where the planet would have been stripped of its gas indicates that A-type bright stars have several other unseen phases that are yet to be discovered. The researcher also suggests that the discovery of this planet also adds to the existing understanding of how planetary atmospheres evolve.

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First Published Date: 14 Aug, 18:41 IST