Many Hi-News readers are probably aware ofthe fact that in a vast universe you can find a lot of incredible objects, the appearance and characteristics of which can only come to mind as science fiction writers with extremely stormy imagination. So, most likely you have already heard about the hot Jupiter planets, mini Neptunes and even super-Earths. But did you know that there can be planets near distant stars whose appearance can strikingly resemble human eyes? Scientists-planetologists believe that a similar type of exoplanets really exists, and their unusual appearance can well be explained by science.
The strangest planets in the universe
According to the portal sciencealert.com, unusual planets, with all their appearance resembling the human eye, owe their appearance and further evolution to the so-called tidal blocking, in which the orbital body rotates around its luminary at the same speed as around its axis. This means that this or that similar planet will be doomed to revolve around its star forever, looking at it with only one of its sides. We do not need to go far for an example of such a phenomenon in our everyday life: the Moon, the natural satellite of the Earth, is just such a heavenly body. Due to the close gravitational relationship between our space objects, we can never see the far side of the satellite from the surface of our blue planet. Unless only with the help of photographs taken by special spacecraft, about which, by the way, you can read here. On exoplanets gravitationally tied to their Sun, there is no place for changing the seasons or even the cycle of day and night: there will be ice night on one side of such a world, while high temperatures will reign on the other side of the planet, coupled with eternal day.
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The climate of a tidal-blocked planet mayradically different from earthly. So, depending on how close the planet is to the star, one side of such an object can be dry and waterless, while the ice side in the dark can be one huge ice cap. Between the two opposites there can be a real “life ring” with eternal twilight and water from melting glaciers, where vegetation can comfortably grow. If the “eyeball” is located a bit further from the heat of its star, then the ice cap on the shadow side of the planet will be much smaller than in the first version. Instead, scientists hope to find huge liquid oceans, which can also be inhabited, as well as the usual earthly ones.
And what do you think, can tidal-blocked planets support life? Share your opinion with like-minded people in our official Telegram chat.
Be that as it may, see the true “face”incredible space objects, we will be able in the coming years, when the long-awaited James Webb and WFIRST telescopes finally enter outer space.