Exoplanet Bigger than Jupiter with Cotton Candy-like Properties Found by Astronomers


An international team of astronomers has discovered a planet larger than Jupiter, yet significantly lighter and fluffier, akin to cotton candy. This exoplanet, named WASP-193b, was confirmed last year but required additional time to determine its unique composition using ground-based telescopes. The study, published in Nature Astronomy, reveals that the planet primarily consists of light gases like hydrogen and helium, which account for its unusually low density.

Lead author Khalid Barkaoui from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology described the planet as “super fluffy.” The gas giants in our solar system, including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, are much denser than this exoplanet. This disparity is due to the fact that the gas giants are composed mainly of heavier elements, while WASP-193b is comprised of lighter gases.

WASP-193b is located approximately 1,200 light-years away from Earth. For reference, a light-year equates to nearly 5.8 trillion miles. Given its size and mass, WASP-193b is the second lightest exoplanet discovered to date, as per the researchers’ findings.

Astronomers believe that WASP-193b offers an excellent opportunity to study unconventional planetary formation and evolution. Given its unique properties, this exoplanet deviates from the norm and challenges our current understanding of planetary composition and formation. This makes it an ideal subject for further study, as it may yield new insights into the processes that govern the formation and evolution of planets.

In conclusion, the discovery of WASP-193b not only expands our knowledge of the universe but also presents new avenues for exploration and research in the field of astronomy. With its cotton candy-like composition, this exoplanet is a testament to the diversity and complexity of celestial bodies in the universe. It underscores the need for continued exploration of space to unravel the mysteries that it holds.



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