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Bizarre Cometlike Alien Planet Is First of Its Kind

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posted on Jun, 25 2015 @ 05:50 AM
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This artist's impression shows exoplanet GJ 436b, which is surrounded by a massive gas cloud that streams behind the planet like a comet's tail for millions of miles.
Credit: Mark Garlick/University of Warwic





A Neptune-size planet appears to be masquerading as a comet, with a gargantuan stream of gas flowing behind it like a comet's tail.

The bizarre find is the first of its kind ever discovered by astronomers. The strange, cometlike planet, known as GJ 436b, is orbiting a red dwarf star and is about 22 times as massive as Earth. Astronomers detected the giant gas cloud around the planet using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory.



GJ 436b, located about 33 light-years from Earth in the constellation Leo, is a kind of world known as a warm Neptune. Such planets, at about 10 to 20 times the mass of Earth, are about the mass of "cold Neptunes" such as Uranus — and, naturally, Neptune — but they are as close, or closer, to their stars than Mercury is to our sun. With an orbit of only about 3 million miles (4.8 million kilometers), "GJ 436b is 33 times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun, and 13 times closer than Mercury," Ehrenreich told Space.com.

The cloud of gas around GJ 436b, made up mostly of hydrogen, has a circular head that surrounds GJ 436b, and a tail trailing behind the planet. The diameter of the head is about 1.8 million miles (3 million km), or five times the width of the host star, which is about half that of the sun, Ehrenreich said. The length of the tail is uncertain, because the research team's observations do not cover it entirely, but their computer models suggest it could be about 9.3 million miles (15 million km) long.


They are going to observe this planet with Hubble next year , It will be interesting to see what they find .

Have a read

thoughts ?

kap




posted on Jun, 25 2015 @ 05:56 AM
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a reply to: Kapusta

Exoplanet Osiris:



en.m.wikipedia.org...




posted on Jun, 25 2015 @ 07:35 AM
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Wow. Can you imagine living on a planet in that system? A giant comet in the sky, every night!
Good find.



posted on Jun, 25 2015 @ 08:29 AM
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Hehe Nibiru?
a reply to: Kapusta



posted on Jun, 25 2015 @ 08:46 AM
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It makes one wonder how long it's been doing that and how log it will last. It will have to run out of hydrogen gas sometime.



posted on Jun, 25 2015 @ 08:50 AM
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a reply to: Kapusta


They are going to observe this planet with Hubble next year , It will be interesting to see what they find .

Absolutely.

Maybe its reeling from a giant impact?



posted on Jun, 25 2015 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: Kapusta

This may just be a normal phase in planetary development. According to the latest models, Jupiter and Saturn migrated closer to the Sun, then back out again. They would have had tails like that, too! (This serves as a reminder that although there are countless planets in the Universe, not all of them are even close to the same degree of development.)



posted on Jun, 25 2015 @ 10:48 AM
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a reply to: Kapusta

A gas tail which stretches millions of miles.

I love the universe.
edit on 25-6-2015 by and14263 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 25 2015 @ 11:46 AM
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Good find.



posted on Jun, 25 2015 @ 01:00 PM
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Worth noting as someone else pointed out earlier in the thread that this is not the first planet suspected of having a tail.

The evaporating planet known as HD 209458 b was.

It was first detected in 1999 and first directly imaged in 2005.

It was also first in a number of categories:

first transiting extrasolar planet

the first planet detected through more than one method

an extrasolar planet known to have an atmosphere

an extrasolar planet observed to have an evaporating hydrogen atmosphere

an extrasolar planet found to have an atmosphere containing oxygen and carbon

one of the first two extrasolar planets to be directly observed spectroscopically

the first extrasolar gas giant to have its superstorm measured

the first planet to have its orbital speed measured, determining its mass directly

HD 209458 b and GJ 436 b both orbit very close to their star.

Both planets would easily fit inside Mercury's orbit if they were in our solar system.

HD 209458 b orbits its star about 10 times closer than Mercury does our Sun.
GJ 436 b orbits its star about 100 times closer than Mercury does out Sun.

HD 209458 b's star is a G0V star similar to our Sun which is a G2V.
GJ 346 b's star is a small, cooler red dwarf.

But in both cases it is no wonder they have tails. Their atmosphere is being baked away by the scorching heat and ionizing radiation of the stars they orbit.
edit on 25-6-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2015 @ 07:00 PM
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a reply to: JadeStar


Although prior research has predicted that other gas giants should be blowing off cometlike tails, based on how hot they must be due to their proximity to their stars, "GJ 436b is the first planet for which a cometlike tail is confidently detected," Ehrenreich said. (A previous study revealed indirect evidence of a rocky world that appears to be disintegrating around its host star, creating a cometlike tail of material behind the planet. That study used data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, which observed scattering of the light from the planet's host star.)



posted on Jun, 29 2015 @ 09:58 PM
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originally posted by: Kapusta
a reply to: JadeStar


Although prior research has predicted that other gas giants should be blowing off cometlike tails, based on how hot they must be due to their proximity to their stars, "GJ 436b is the first planet for which a cometlike tail is confidently detected," Ehrenreich said. (A previous study revealed indirect evidence of a rocky world that appears to be disintegrating around its host star, creating a cometlike tail of material behind the planet. That study used data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, which observed scattering of the light from the planet's host star.)


The key word above is "confidently".



posted on Jun, 29 2015 @ 09:59 PM
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originally posted by: JadeStar

originally posted by: Kapusta
a reply to: JadeStar


Although prior research has predicted that other gas giants should be blowing off cometlike tails, based on how hot they must be due to their proximity to their stars, "GJ 436b is the first planet for which a cometlike tail is confidently detected," Ehrenreich said. (A previous study revealed indirect evidence of a rocky world that appears to be disintegrating around its host star, creating a cometlike tail of material behind the planet. That study used data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, which observed scattering of the light from the planet's host star.)


The key word above is "confidently".


exactly




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