'Forbidden Planet' Discovered Against All Odds in Hellish Neptunian Desert


The planet dubbed NGTS-4b or the forbidden planet has a mass of 20 Earth masses, and a radius 20% smaller than Neptune and is 1000 degrees Celsius. It's locked tightly around a K-type main sequence star, and zips around it in just 1.34 days. In fact, it orbits its star every 1.3 days.

Scientists call this region close to the surface of a sun the Neptunian Desert.

In a friendly gesture towards science writers, astronomers have given NGTS-4b a much more user-friendly name: "The Forbidden Planet". It's the first of its kind to have ever been observed in this area.

"This planet must be tough-it is right in the zone where we expected Neptune-sized planets could not survive", Richard West, author of the study from the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, said in a statement.

When astronomers search for exoplanets they rarely know what they're going to find, but that doesn't mean there aren't rules that would-be planets are expected to follow. However the Forbidden Planet has retained its gaseous shroud, although it is unlikely to host alien life due to a temperature exceeding 1,000C.

Dr. Richard West of the University of Warwick led the team in finding NGTS-4b. It has also been nick-named "The Forbidden Planet".

"When you're that close to a star, then you get a lot of radiation from the star and it's enough to strip off the layers of an atmosphere on a planet that's about the size of Neptune".

It was found by the method known as Transit Photometry.

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Astronomers have discovered a very rare, very unusual planet in a distant solar system. The NGTS telescopes can pick up a dip of 0.2 percent, unlike other ground-based searches that can only pick up dips of one percent or more.

A Neptunian planet has been found in what should be a "Neptunian Desert" by telescopes run by the University of Warwick in an global collaboration of astronomers.

An global team of astronomers led by the University of Warwick has found a "forbidden" planet orbiting the "Neptunian Desert" of another star.

Astrophysicists have discovered a rogue exoplanet that has managed to cling onto its atmosphere despite lying fatally close to its parent star, defying all expectations.

The researchers believe the planet may have moved into the Neptunian Desert recently, in the last one million years, or it was very big and the atmosphere is still evaporating.

Astronomers at the University of Warwick led the global collaboration that found NGTS-4b.

In the case of NGTS-4b, however, the astronomers' telescopes were able to detect the planet even though it only dimmed the star's light by less than 0.2 per cent.