Space constantly amazes us with its appearance. Giant planets, possible super-Earths, or the magical image of a “Christmas tree cluster” are just selected examples from the whole list of unusual things. But did you know that planets can also “watch us” and it's not about aliens?
Planetary scientists think there may be an exoplanet that looks like a giant eyeball.
Although they may look unusual, their striking appearance is relatively easy to explain. Everything has a relationship Tidal lock.
This phenomenon occurs when an object rotates at the same rate as it is moving in orbit. This means that one side always faces the star. It's a bit like our Earth's moon, which always faces the planet with one side, and the other side is not visible.
The Earth is not connected to the Sun in this way, its faster rotation on its axis means we have a day/night cycle. Astronomers know that some exoplanets are tidally locked to their host stars.
This arrangement means that both sides can look very different. One may be dehydrated, devoid of water due to the star's searing radiation. On the other hand, always far from the star, on a constantly prevailing night, there may be one large ice sheet.
On the border between eternal day and eternal night, where there is eternal twilight, the rays of the stars melt the glacier. Scientists believe that this is a potentially suitable area of disturbance and soil for agriculture.
A special case is the “hot eye”. According to Sean Raymond, an astronomer from France Purdue University There is an exoplanet tidally connected to the star, but slightly farther away from it (and therefore farther away from its temperature). Thanks to this, it has a distinctive night ice cover, but on the other hand it is not dry or barren. There is a liquid ocean that could also be habitable.
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