Watch: ‘Giant mirror’-like alien planet that ‘shouldn't exist’, discovered - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Watch: ‘Giant mirror’ like alien planet with metallic clouds discovered; astronomers say ‘shouldn’t exist'

Jul 11, 2023 01:27 PM IST

Reseachers have discovered an ultra-hot exo-planet that reflects a whopping 80% of the light shone on it by its host star, acting like a “mirror.”

Researchers on Monday discovered an ultra-hot exo-planet which acts like a mirror in space. The exo-planet, which means it’s located outside our solar system, is covered by reflective metallic clouds, making it the shiniest exoplanet ever found, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

An artist's impression of the exoplanet LTT9779b orbiting its host star, located 264 light years from Earth.(via REUTERS)
An artist's impression of the exoplanet LTT9779b orbiting its host star, located 264 light years from Earth.(via REUTERS)

The planet, named LTT9779b, was discovered during the ESA’s exoplanet mission ‘Cheops’. “Aside from the Moon, the brightest object in our night sky is planet Venus, whose thick cloud layer reflects around 75% of the Sun’s light. Meanwhile the Earth only reflects 30% of the sunlight,” ESA said in its blog. However, this newly discovered exoplanet reflects a whopping 80% of the light shone on it by its host star, acting like a “mirror" and making it the universe's most reflective object known.

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

Also Read: In search of aliens, ESA set to launch JUICE mission to Jupiter. Know about it

"It's a giant mirror in space," astronomer James Jenkins of Diego Portales University and the Center for Excellence in Astrophysics and Associated Technologies (CATA) in Chile was quoted as saying by Reuters. He is a co-author of the research published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

LTT9779b is located about 264 light years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Sculptor in our Milky Way galaxy and its diameter is about 4.7 times greater than Earth.

Astronomer and study co-author Vivien Parmentier said the discovery of an alien planet with an atmosphere while orbiting close to its star defies expectations, as it is a phenomenon that "shouldn't exist." "The super-reflective cloud cover likely helped stop the planet from warming up too much and being stripped of its atmosphere," Parmentier said. Terming it a unique phenomenon to this planet, he explained that other planets at this temperature that are big enough to keep their atmosphere are too hot to form clouds and are charcoal like.

More than 5,000 planets beyond our solar system - called exoplanets - have been discovered so far.

Unlock a world of Benefits with HT! From insightful newsletters to real-time news alerts and a personalized news feed – it's all here, just a click away! -Login Now!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Trainee Content Producer at HT Digital. I read about feminism, late modern history, and globalisation of Korean music.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, March 03, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On