Astronomers are estimating that there may be not billions or trillions, but maybe even sextillions of planets out there in the Cosmos. And who knows what new stuff they may be hosting, perhaps even things far more strange than our wildest imaginations could ever tell.
One new amazing news is represented by the discovery of a planet so close to its star that scientists are wondering how it was possible not to be swallowed by the gravitational pull. It all started when a team of researchers led by Tiago Campante of the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA) and Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, studied the red giant stars HD 212771 and HD 203949. They detected some oscillations, which were pulsations from the surfaces. Thus, the conclusion was obvious: the stars had exoplanets.
TESS observations are precise enough to allow measuring the gentle pulsations at the surfaces of stars. These two fairly evolved stars also host planets, providing the ideal testbed for studies of the evolution of planetary systems,
The final outcome shocked the scientists since one star has an exoplanet orbiting very close to it.
HD 203949 is the star of the show
The HD 203949 is the star of the show and also, literally, the star we’re talking about. The researchers have understood some info regarding the star’s mass, size, and age. This led the researchers to the conclusion that the star should have theoretically devoured the exoplanet. But an explanation has to exist of why the planet is still there.
Study author Vardan Adibekyan told Space.com in an email the following:
Solution of this scientific problem — how the planet avoided the engulfment — required very hard work and a lot of calculations,
Dimitri Veras of the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics declared:
We determined how this planet could have reached its current location, and to do so whether or not the planet had to survive engulfment within the stellar envelope of the red giant star. The work sheds new light on the survivability of planets when their parent stars begin to die, and might even reveal new aspects of tidal physics,
Study co-author of IA and Universidade do Porto added:
The solution to this scientific dilemma is hidden in the ‘simple fact’ that stars and their planets not only form but also evolve together. In this particular case, the planet managed to avoid engulfment.
There you have it, the scientific explanation in all its glory. If somehow there are any aliens living on the planet, they must be making pies without an oven.