A potato in space? In unique discovery, oblong-shaped planet found

Written by corres2

Anything is possible. Well, truly, as it is hard to imagine a planet, which resembles a potato. But astronomers at the European Space Agency have actually found one.  

These experts have discovered an oblong-shaped planet, which is called WASP-103b.   

It seems to be the first planet, which “has a deformed shape more like that of a rugby ball than a sphere,” the ESA said on Tuesday.   

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The unique planet is located in the Hercules constellation.   

According to the researchers, the planet’s strong tidal forces, which has been caused by the host star’s close proximity, seems to have bent it out of the traditional spherical shape.  

Although it was first discovered in 2014, the recent observations made by the ESA’s Cheops telescope mission confirmed the squashed shape.   

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The mission looks to study planets outside the solar system.   

Jacques Laskar of Paris Observatory, who co-authored the research, said, “It’s incredible that Cheops was actually able to reveal this tiny deformation. This is the first time such analysis has been made, and we can hope that observing over a longer time interval will strengthen this observation and lead to better knowledge of the planet’s internal structure.”  

(With inputs from agencies) 

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