The cosmos is full of secrets and mysteries.
The deeper we gaze into the abyss, the more questions arise
that modern science cannot yet answer.
Today we have the honor of meeting
two very, very, very strange planets.
Although, even calling them planets
is a difficult proposition.
Object CFBDSIR 2149-0403,
or more casually known as CF21.
This is probably one of the most
incomprehensible things in this known universe.
I feel like this one’s just for us
and at just the right time.
At first this peculiar cosmic body was taken for a rogue planet,
meaning a planet which was somehow gravitationally ejected
from its native system by other planets
or by some passing star.
It was found a hundred light-years from Earth,
discovered in 2012 by an international team of astronomers
led by one Philippe Delorme.
The first study showed that
that its mass is 5 to 9 times the mass of Jupiter.
But the planet is hot,
and it’s not supposed to be.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s do this in the proper order.
In general, these orphan planets
are a quite frequent phenomenon in the universe.
They are also sometimes
placed in a group of objects known as planemos.
Scientists believe that in fact there are quite a lot of them,
and some of them are much closer to the Earth
than this mysterious recluse.
But they are extremely difficult to find
because they often have zero luminosity.
So when scientists found out
that the possible rogue planet was hot,
the theory as to
its being a planetary class body came into question.
To understand exactly what kind of game this is,
you need to turn to brown dwarfs for help.
Brown dwarfs are substellar objects
that means “smaller than a star”,
which don’t have sufficient mass
for a pressure and temperature in the core to trigger thermonuclear fusion
of hydrogen to helium like most stars.
In order to initiate
a thermonuclear reaction based on hydrogen,
thanks to which almost all stars shine,
you need something with about 80 times the mass of Jupiter.
That’s only about 8% of the mass of our Sun,
but it’s enough.
But only about 13 times the mass of Jupiter is enough
to produce a thermonuclear reaction
that can fuse lithium and deuterium.
So, brown dwarfs are considered to be gas objects
with a mass of between 13 and 80 Jupiters.
想想看 比行星大 比恒星小
Think, bigger than a planet, smaller than a star.
If the mysterious object C21
weighs less than 13 Jupiters,
which it does as far as we can tell,
then it will most likely turn out to be
a Jupiter-like rogue planet,
thrown out of its nest and drifting unobtrusively,
not far from us, galactically speaking.
But wait, it gets more interesting.
C21 glows in the infrared,
meaning it radiates heat into space.
A young newly-formed planet is hot and glowing,
and it will glow until it cools,
and this cooling can last for millions of years.
According to the first observations
after the discovery of this mysterious object,
it seemed to be moving with a nearby group of stars
called the AB Doratus moving group.
Scientists came to this conclusion
because of its apparent proximity to this cluster,
and so surely our mysterious object must have flown from there.
All these stars in the Doratus group are very young,
appeared around the same time,
are in relative proximity to each other.
In the past they could have influenced each other gravitationally,
changing the orbits of the planets of neighboring stars,
giving rise to the appearance of our planemo.
That is, if C21 came out of AB Doratus,
then it is probably a young planet
which hasn’t cooled down yet.
However, after more detailed observations
with the help of Europe’s Very Large Telescope in Chile,
the Canada-France Hawaii Telescope,
the Spitzer Space Telescope
and the use of the parallax effect
which calculates more accurate distances to faraway objects
by taking measurements when the Earth
is in different places in its orbit around the Sun,
it turned out that C21
is about 130 light-years from Earth.
This is somewhat further than originally thought.
At first scientists assume that this little miracle object
was about the same distance as the star system mentioned earlier,
about 75 light-years from Earth.
Now, far from all centers of star formation,
this possible planet can’t possibly be young.
it must be over 500 million years old.
and if it is a planemo,
it couldn’t possibly exist there.
As far as we know,
planets can only be formed in the orbit of stars.
At 55 light-years away from AB Doratus,
if it came from there,
flying for so long,
it would surely have had time to cool down.
But this does not necessarily correspond with reality.
The temperature of the mysterious traveler
is over 400 degrees.
And if it is almost two times farther than we thought,
that in fact it’s even brighter.
And if it is brighter,
that means it’s heavier.
and according to refined calculations,
the mass of the object
is between 2 and 13 masses of Jupiter.
The upper limit just allows it to start
the most undemanding thermonuclear reaction on lithium.
But, all the same,
most likely the mass is less,
at about seven Jupiters.
What the heck is going on here?
Additionally, studies have revealed
that it has a high content of heavy elements,
all the elements that are not hydrogen and helium.
And usually brown dwarfs have fewer such elements,
but the presence of these elements in this case
is too little for a planet.
So we cannot say with absolute certainty that this is a planet,
but almost all the data leads to this conclusion.
More observations are the only way
to get a better understanding of this strange object.
Research will continue, our understanding of the universe will grow,
and knowledge will increase.
At this time, we don’t understand what it is.
But, sooner or later,
mankind will receive an answer to this question.
Perhaps you, my dear viewers,
have your own opinion as to what this strange object is.
You can write all your assumptions in the comments.
I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say.
In the meantime, let’s move on to the next
no less strange and still unexplained object.
Kelt-11B is a giant plastic styrofoam planet.
Yes, you heard that right.
It was discovered just recently,
and its amazing properties were quite the surprise.
This giant exoplanet, located
320 light-years from Earth, is incredibly bloated.
It’s 40 percent larger than our Jupiter,
but has only about 1/5 its mass.
Such an impressive size and an extremely low mass
make it similar in density to styrofoam.
In reality, there’s no foam
in the composition of the planet.
It’s just an analogy.
This unusual fluffy world
has the third lowest density
among all the exoplanets that we have discovered,
of which we have managed to determine the exact mass and radius.
I hope it will shed light
on how these mysterious objects are born
and what happens to them next in their evolution.
In addition to the unusual density,
Kelt-11B has distinguished itself for something else.
In a very short time, it will disappear.
You see, the exoplanet revolves
around the super bright star Kelt-11,
which is in the process of transitioning into a red giant.
This means that within the context of the thermonuclear process,
the star has begun to burn hydrogen outside its core.
According to researchers, the outer layers of the atmosphere
of the Kelt-11 star
will expand over the next 100 million years,
and eventually the star will completely absorb the planet Kelt-11B.
And since our mysterious exoplanet
performs one revolution around its parent star
in just five terrestrial days.
This means that it is extraordinarily close to the star,
and hence the absorption will happen quite soon, astronomically speaking.
But it’s not all that bad.
Due to the fact that Kelt-11 is the brightest
of the famous stars in our southern hemisphere,
before its demise, this strange foamy world
will be able to tell us much
about the composition of its atmosphere.
The transit method of searching for new exoplanets
is one of the most popular among astronomers.
Due to the passage of a planet
between its parent star and our telescopes,
the brightness of the observed star decreases.
This indicates to scientists
that an exoplanet can be
in front of the star at that moment.
However, the reduction in luminosity
of the super-bright Kelt-11
turned out to be so insignificant that this time,
astronomers could not immediately confirm the existence of the planet
using the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope,
which consists of two robotic telescopes,
one in Arizona and the other in South Africa.
They work at the same time in unison
as one whole telescope,
like giant binoculars the size of the Earth.
Astronomer Joshua Pepper of the University of Pennsylvania said,
“The discovery was very challenging.
The original Kelt observations of the star,
its light curve, showed
only a hint of the transit,
a little under 0.3% change in brightness.”
It was very difficult to obtain reliable, complete confirmation observations.
Thankfully, new observations confirmed
the existence of the mysterious exoplanet.
Scientists are now trying in every possible way
to figure out what the secret of Kelt-11B is.
Why is this planet so inflated, so bloated,
and what generally causes such extreme density on other exoplanets?
The researchers have also taken up further study of the star,
hoping to better understand how such stellar bodies behave
at the end of their life cycle.
And of course, I’m already eagerly
awaiting the results of these newest studies.
In the meantime, I’ll go make a couple more
insanely interesting episodes just for you.
谢谢大家的关注 再见 亲爱的朋友们
Thanks for your attention and see you soon, my dear friends.
If you have any ideas for future episodes,
please leave them in the comments below.
The author of the best idea
will have their name presented in the video.
Don’t forget to put a thumbs-up,
with my sincere gratitude.