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New ‘Super Fluffy’ Planet discovered

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Scientists have recently discovered an astonishingly unique planet that, despite being larger than Jupiter, has the fluffy consistency of cotton candy.

This new finding was reported by an international team of astronomers, who noted the planet’s unusually low density for its size.

The planet, named WASP-193b, is significantly less dense compared to the gas giants in our own solar system like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, which are composed of much denser materials. According to lead researcher Khalid Barkaoui from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, WASP-193b is “super fluffy” because it is primarily made up of light gases such as hydrogen and helium, rather than solids.

This intriguing exoplanet provides a unique case for scientists studying planetary formation and evolution, as its characteristics are quite different from most other known planets. It was first confirmed last year, but determining its exact nature took additional observations using ground-based telescopes. The findings were recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Astronomy.

Located about 1,200 light-years away from Earth—a light-year being the distance light travels in a year, about 9.3 trillion kilometers—WASP-193b stands out as the second-lightest exoplanet discovered so far when considering its size and mass.

This discovery not only adds to our understanding of the variety of planetary systems in the universe but also highlights the complexities and surprises of planetary science, showing that there is still much to learn about the cosmos.

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