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First planetary core discovered, astronomers announce

by Ace Damon

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A number of amazing astrological phenomena will be visible in 2020. Here is a little bit of what you can expect. Accuweather

History Highlights

  • “This is the first time that we have discovered an exposed intact core of a gas giant (planet) around a star.”
  • The discovery offers the unique opportunity to peek inside a planet.
  • The star is similar to our sun and the core is about the same size as Neptune.

Scientists have already seen “inside” a planet, a new study said.

“This is the first time that we have discovered an exposed, intact nucleus of a gas giant (planet) around a star,” lead author David Armstrong, a physicist at the University of Warwick in the UK, said in a statement.

The discovery offers a unique opportunity to observe the interior of a planet and learn about its composition, according to the university.

The star and the planetary nucleus, known as TOI-849b, are 730 light years away from Earth. The star is similar to our sun and the core is about the same size as Neptune.

TOI-849b is an extremely unusual exoplanet in the so-called “Neptune Desert” – a term used by astronomers for a region close to the stars, where we rarely see planets with the mass of Neptune or greater. An exoplanet is a planet that orbits other stars besides our sun.

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So, what happened to the gaseous atmosphere that surrounded this planetary core? One theory is that the gas was somehow removed, perhaps during a tidal disturbance, where the planet is separated from orbiting very close to its star, or even from a collision with another planet.

Artistic impression: The surviving core of a gas giant was discovered orbiting a distant star. It is extremely rare to find an object of this size and density so close to its star. (Photo: Warwick University / Mark Garlick)

Another theory is that it never had a gaseous atmosphere, which would make it a “bankrupt gas giant”. This means that, once the gas giant’s nucleus formed, something could have gone wrong and would never have formed an atmosphere.

The discovery is only the beginning of the research, the scientists said:

“It’s the first time, telling us that planets like this exist and can be found,” said Armstrong. “We have an opportunity to look at the core of a planet in a way that we cannot do in our own solar system.”

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“There are still big open questions about the nature of Jupiter’s core, for example, exoplanets as strange and unusual as this give us a window into the formation of planets that we have no other way to explore,” he said.

The study was published Wednesday in the British journal Nature.

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