Humans have always explored the unexplored. Reaching new heights in the lands, the seas and the skies. Now we reach for the next frontier, space. Explore five interesting new planets outside of our solar system.
Largest exoplant yet – Star TrES-4
The planet TrES-4b was discovered in 2006 and is currently known as the largest planet outside of our solar system to date. TrES-4b is 70% larger than Jupiter, however, strangely enough it only contains 70% of the mass of Jupiter making it a very low density gas planet. In fact TrES-4b is just about as dense as the cork in your champagne bottle.
Here’s a size comparison of TrES-4b to Jupiter, 5th planet from the sun.
Fun fact #3: Exoplanets are named from their parent stars in order of their discovery and not the distance from the central star, which can often lead to confusion. However the central star has its own name reserved as whatever name then lowercase letter ‘a’. So for example Kepler-36a or Kepler-36 is the star name, while Kepler-36b, c, d … and so on are left for the orbiting planets.
Triple Star System – HD 188753
Located approximately 150 light years (which is about 1.5 quadrillion kilometers) from the constellation Cygnus. With a central star mass of 1.06 solar masses (1 solar mass = the mass of our sun), along with a pair of smaller stars with a combined mass of just 1.63 solar masses. A Jupiter like gas planet has been detected in the triple system; it orbits its main star in a mere 3.5 earth days. However it is unsure whether or not the exoplanet actually exists.
How the skies would look from the surface of a nearby planet
Located in this picture is the constellation Cygnus
Fun Fact #4: In the constellation Cygnus exists an earth like planet existing in the habitable zone, or as some like to call it, the Goldilocks Zone. An area where a planet is neither too far or too close to its host star, allowing a nice temperature fit for life. Earth resides in the middle of a goldilocks zone in our solar system. Kepler-22b was the first goldilocks planet discovered by the Kepler space telescope in 2009 and was later confirmed to exist in 2011.
Diamond planet – PSR J1716-1438b
This is another planet that orbits a pulsar which spins at 10,000 revolutions per minute or about 167 times per second. But what’s incredibly interesting about this planet is that because of its high density and gravity, it is possible that the exoplanet’s own gravity may have crushed the carbon within into crystalized diamonds. It exists about 4,000 light years (40 quadrillion kilometers) from the Earth in the constellation Serpens. Shown below is the system with the pulsar in the center with the exoplanet orbiting around it.
Last Fun Fact #5: 1 light year = about 10 trillion kilometers