16 Cygni Bb: A planet with Deadliest Seasons
Astronomers do not consider Pluto as a planet because of its unusual orbit, but there is another planet outside our solar system and if you take a look at its orbit then you must say Pluto is still good. A triple star system some 69 light-years from Earth got the attention of astronomers in 1996. 16 Cygni B is very special among these three stars. Observing 16 Cygni B you can say that it is our sun’s twin. 16 Cygni B is almost identical to our sun. Astronomers discovered a Gas Giant just like Jupiter orbiting this star. They named this planet “16 Cygni Bb”. The orbit of this planet makes it very special and strange.
|Image Via Wikipedia|
This triple star system lies in the constellation Cygnus (the Swan). In our solar system all the planets have almost circular orbit, but this planet is quite different from all the planets so far discovered. 16 Cygni B orbits its parent star in such a way that you can imagine it like a giant yo-yo in space. The Gas Giant swings back and forth across its solar system.
Comparison of orbit of 16 Cygnis Bb to our solar system (Via Wikipedia Commons)
When coming towards its parent star, the closest distance of this planet is about 25 million miles from the solar surface of its parent star. This distance is even shorter than the distance of Mercury from the sun. At this close approach to its parent star temperature rises about more than 800°C. After making the closest approach it slings out towards the distant solar system, where it reaches a point which is more than 200 million miles away from its parent star. This distance is equal to the distance of Jupiter from the sun. At its closest approach the temperature increases about 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit and when it is at the farthest distance temperature reaches -430°F. So expecting life on this planet is meaningless and humans cannot visit this yo-yo planet, perhaps short life living organisms may live on this planet for a short time when the temperature is moderate.
Just like Gas Giants in our solar system this yo-yo planet probably has a large number of moons. The moons around this planet could have extreme seasons. On earth seasons are caused by the tilt of our planet, but in this case on a moon of this yo-yo planets seasons are caused by elongated orbit. These poor planets that are in elongated elliptical orbits suffer terrible changes in their climates throughout the year.
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16 Cygni Bb: A planet with Deadliest Seasons Reviewed by Umer Abrar on 2/27/2014 Rating: