Space boffins discover ‘deformed planet’ that looks like rugby ball

A rugby ball shaped planet has been spotted outside our Solar System and scientists have labelled it deformed.

Exoplanet WAP-103b has been baffling space boffins for a multitude of reasons ever since it was first spotted in the Hercules constellation.

The European Space Agency said in a statement: "ESA’s exoplanet mission Cheops has revealed that an exoplanet orbiting its host star within a day has a deformed shape more like that of a rugby ball than a sphere.

"This is the first time that the deformation of an exoplanet has been detected, offering new insights into the internal structure of these star-hugging planets."

ESA scientists are still trying to wrap their heads around what's going on at the exoplanet.

An exoplanet is the term used to describe a planet outside of our Solar System.

The researchers used data from Nasa's Hubble and Spitzer telescopes as well as the ESA's Cheops space telescope to get a picture of the strange planet, The Sun reported.

They've just published a paper with all their findings.

They discovered that the the planet is amazingly twice the size of Jupiter and likely has a similar structure to a gas giant.

WASP-103b is thought to experience extreme tidal forces as the star it orbits tugs on it.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.

It is believed that the planet has been incredibly inflated by its star.

Lead author of the study Susana Barros said: "If we can confirm the details of its internal structure with future observations, maybe we could better understand what makes it so inflated.

"Knowing the size of the core of this exoplanet will also be important to better understand how it formed."

The scientists are also perplexed as to why the planet appears to be moving away from its star.

Many planets often end up consumed by their stars but the opposite seems to be happening with WASP-103b.

Scientists plan to continue their observations of the peculiar space object to try and gain some more understanding.

Source: Read Full Article