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Can a planet be bigger than its star?

20230717 204455 InfinityCosmos

20230717 204455 InfinityCosmos

Have you ever heard of the strange planet known as WD 1856 b? It’s an celestial body located in a star system about 80 light-years from Earth, and it’s unlike anything humans have ever seen before! What makes it so unique? Well, this exoplanet is nearly seven times larger than the white dwarf star it orbits, despite the fact that the star weighs in at around 500 Jupiter masses! but the planet is just 14. So, how is it that a planet so small can be so much bigger than its star? Well, scientists believe that WD 1856 b was once a gas giant like Jupiter, but at some point in its history, it lost its gaseous layers and was stripped down to its solid core. This process is known as mass-loss. 


The majority of scientists believe that the mass-loss of WD 1856 b was caused by the extreme gravity of its white dwarf star. This star is incredibly dense, and as the planet passed close by, its gravity pulled away some of the lighter elements like hydrogen and helium. Over time, this process slowly removed the gaseous layers of the planet while allowing its solid core to remain intact. To date, WD 1856 b is the only known planet of its kind. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other planets out there like it. Astronomers are continually searching for more exoplanets like WD 1856 b that have gone through a similar mass-loss process. In fact, some believe that planets like these could be incredibly common throughout the universe. 


What’s even more fascinating is that astronomers have recently begun to study how these planets might be able to support life. While WD 1856 b itself is unlikely to be capable of supporting life due to its extreme climatic conditions, astronomers believe that other planets like it could potentially have more moderate climates which could be more hospitable to life. It’s an exciting prospect that could lead to some amazing discoveries in the future! So, next time you look up at the night sky, remember that there are more than just stars out there. There are also mysterious planets like WD 1856 b which could potentially harbor alien life in their distant depths! Who knows — maybe one day our descendants will even find a way to explore these strange worlds firsthand!

Can a planet be bigger than its star?

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