The metal extrasolar planet resembles a football

395 light-years away from Earth, astronomers recorded signals indicating the presence of a planet orbiting a red dwarf less than half the mass of the sun. Due to the strong gravitational interactions between the star and the planet, it is possible that it resembles American football in shape.

Earlier studies of a candidate for the planet, cataloged under KOI 1843.03, showed that she orbits closer to her star than any other planet. Calculations indicate that the planet orbits the red dwarf in just 4 hours, 14 minutes and 42 seconds.

In other words, the "year" on this planet lasts just over one sixth of the day on Earth.

As part of Leslie Rogers' research, an astrophysicist from the University of Chicago and her team looked at the potential consequences of such a tight orbit for the planet. Researchers concluded that the planet must be heavily iron-based to avoid bursting. Although the Earth is 32% iron, there must be at least 66% iron in KOI 1843.03. Thus, it is one of the most iron-rich exoplanets ever discovered.

To find out what is involved with such an extreme orbit around the star, scientists conducted the first 3D simulations of the interior structure of rocky planets, whose extremely tight orbits cause tidal deformations.

It turned out that KOI 1843.03 in shape may resemble American football ball.

In our view, KOI 1843.03 is the most aspheric planet we've discovered so far. Our models indicate that it is significantly elongated towards the star - the ratio of its height to width can be up to 1.8. For comparison, the egg has a ratio of 1.3 - adds Rogers.

It is worth noting here that everything depends on the density of the planet. The more iron inside the planet, the less it will be subjected to gravitational effects. Of the nine rocky planets orbiting their star in less than a day, for which we have some density estimates, only four are rich in iron. This means that the others may also have been deformed. In the future, it is planned to develop models of such tidal distorted rocky exoplanets and to check whether it is possible to discover this distortion from the shadow of the planet during its transit against the background of its host star's shield.

The size of the shadow cast by a football-shaped planet will change depending on the angle of view. So when the planet orbits its star with its longer axis constantly pointing toward it, the amount of light shifted by the planet will change differently than the amount of light blocked by the spherical planet, '' concludes Ellen Price, astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard.

The metal extrasolar planet resembles football


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