To date, astronomers have identified more than 4,000 exoplanets in the Milky Way Galaxy thanks to various scientific methods. All of these distant worlds have something in common; they orbit their stars in a relatively “flat” disc of our galactic plane.
Now, astronomers report discovering a weird exoplanet that’s an exception; it doesn’t actually orbit its star inside the so-called galactic plane.
When we imagine how the Milky Way Galaxy looks, we probably envision it as having a flat plane where its countless stars and material are arranged intricately in various spiral arms that rotate around the so.called galactic center, where a supermassive black hole is located.
Galaxies sit within a so-called spherical halo which is like an “invisible” bubble of “empty” space with the galaxy’s mass concentrated in the flat dist.
The thin disk is a few hundred light-years thick and is where we find most of the stars in our galaxy. However, around the thin disk is a much thicker disc that although populated with stars is much less concentrated. This secondary disk is called the Thick disk, which means the Milky Way Galaxy has a thin disk where most stars are located and a thick disk where a few are found.
But there apparently are exceptions.
With the help of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) astronomers have managed to find one of the strangest, most unique planets in the galaxy; a distant world orbiting a star as far as 5,870 light-years above the galactic plane. This means that it isn’t located in neither the think nor thick disk of the galactic plane.
“The TESS survey can provide a large sample of solar neighborhood transiting planets across the whole sky. All planet host stars are bright enough to have their RV [radial velocity – the planet-identifying wiggle] measured by the Gaia survey,” the researchers wrote in their paper.
“It will be an excellent opportunity to study the difference in the planet evolution between the thin and thick discs.”
While this is strange, it not the only peculiar characteristics of the distant alien world; astronomers have also discovered it is approximately 1.088 times the size of our planet which would suggest it is a rocky world.
Furthermore, the researchers have discovered that although of similar size compared to Earth, it nearly has 9 times the mass of Earth, which means it is an incredibly dense exoplanet.
The strange world has been named by a group of international astronomers as LHS 1815b because it orbits a star designated as LHS 1815. the strange planet and its peculiar characteristics have been described in a new paper accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal. Astronomers have reported that the newly-found “rogue” world orbits a relatively calm Red Giant.
Astronomers spotted the signature of the strange world when it was just 97 light-years away from our solar system.
Earth-sized, rocky exoplanets are not many when looking at the thousands of exoplanets we have detected so far.
That’s why new exoplanets of this type are valued by astronomers, mostly because that’s where scientists most expect to find the necessary conditions suitable for life to exist.
The new study is available currently on the pre-print server arXiv.