The arguably youngest exoplanet ever discovered by scientists is doomed to be destroyed by its own host sun, scientists fear.
In a recent paper published by Rice University, the exoplanet called the PTFO8-8695 orbits in a rapid speed at a dangerous distance from its sun, the same reason it’s deemed to face a looming destruction. It only takes around 11 hours for the exoplanet to orbit around its sun.
Astronomer Christopher Johns-Krull from Rice University said in a statement that the case of this young planet, with an estimate age of around 2 million years, is an example of extreme scenario for such a young planet facing a looming death.
Also known as the “newborn Jupiter” because it’s almost twice the size of Jupiter, it has layers that are being torn away and destroyed by its own star. Located in the Orion constellation, astronomers believe that the exoplanet came way farther from its current location, adding that over the course of its lifespan, it migrated closer to its sun.
Scientists estimate that the planet Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, which makes it 2,300 times older than this exoplanet. The PTFO8-8695 is one of the heavily-studied exoplanets over the past years, and it has been considered as a candidate to be considered as a planet in 2012.
“We don’t know the ultimate fate of this planet. It likely formed farther away from the star and has migrated in to a point where it’s being destroyed. We know there are close-orbiting planets around middle-aged stars that are presumably in stable orbits. What we don’t know is how quickly this young planet is going to lose its mass and whether it will lose too much to survive,” Johns-Krull said. He who authored the study published this week.