Astronomers Make Startling Discovery About Bizarre Exoplanet


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5. How Far?
Located 320 light-years from Earth, KELT-11b is now in its twilight years. The star that it orbits is larger than our Sun and will eventually expand and engulf the planet. Unlike Earth, that takes roughly 365 days to orbit the Sun, KELT-11b orbits the star in just five days. That’s how close it actually is  to its star.


Universe Today

6. What we know…
Scientists aren’t exactly sure why planets like KELT-11b are over-inflated. They do know that it most likely has to do with location and composition, though. This is the third-lowest density planet that astronomers have been able to accurately measure the radius and mass.


Smithsonian

7. The Reason…
With better instruments, the team will hopefully gather more observations of KELT-11b. They would like to be able to understand the complexity of this planet’s atmosphere so they can prepare for what we might be in store in the future.


Lehigh University

8. What The Future Holds…
Pepper said, “We don’t know of any real Earth-like planets or stars for which we can measure their atmospheres, though we expect to discover more in future years.” He added, “These (giant gas) planets are the gold standards or testbeds for learning how to measure the atmospheres of planets.”


Beyond Earthly Skies

9.But let’s get back to what’s so bizarre…
It’s made of a material that is very consistent with Styrofoam. That’s right! Styrofoam! And just like Styrofoam, KELT-11b could easily float in water. Its atmosphere is inflated and estimated to be over 2,760 kilometers (1,700 miles).


Giphy

The Hope Is…
That researches will be able to study many more Earth-like planets when the James Webb Space Telescope starts collecting information in early 2019.

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