There are probably lots of things that we have heard of, from hot Jupiter to mini-Neptunes or super-Earths. But have you ever heard of something very odd-looking, dubbed the Eyeball Planets?
As strange as it sounds or seems, those planets might exist somewhere in the outer space, according to scientists. They believe in a type of exoplanet which resembles the human eyeball, huge and sitting up there, starring.
According to scientists, such a thing is not that weird at all. The occurrence of those cosmic features has to do with something called the tidal locking. Tidal locking occurs when an orbiting astronomical feature spins at the same range that it orbits. Moreover, it means it always has one part towards the space object that is orbiting, and the other part still backing away.
The Moon, for example, is tidally locked to our planet, and this is a reason why we never notice its far part from here. Earth, on the other hand, isn’t locked to the Sun, and this why we got a day/night cycle.
More About These Eyeball-Shaped Planets That Might Exist in the Universe
Scientists, however, know that some exoplanets are tidally locked to their stars. Such a fact means that one part is on a constant day, while the other, in perpetual night.
Each is in such various states, and the daypart might appear very odd from the night side. Depending on how near the planet is to the star, one part could be dry, for example, all the water evaporated by stellar radiation; but the other part, in complete darkness, might be one giant ice layer wrapping around, resulting in a glacial circle.
According to a 2013 research, that circle could be habitable – in constant twilight, with water from the melting ice layers, enabling a fertile area where vegetation could develop.
Astronomer Sean Raymond detailed the phenomenon: “Hot eyeball and icy eyeball planets are extreme cases, but any planet that is tidally locked to its star is likely to look very different on its dayside and its night side.”