An international team of astronomers studying stars and planets has stumbled upon a surprising discovery. While observing the red giant Baekdu, very similar to our Sun, scientists discovered the planet Hulla, which, according to conventional rules, should not exist. This discovery caused shock and amazement in the scientific community, researchers are trying to solve the riddle of its origin.
The analysis of Paekdo data was carried out using the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) space telescope. Red giants usually do not have exoplanets in close orbits, as they already have time to absorb their neighbors by the time helium fusion begins in their core. However, despite this, scientists discovered the planet Hulla in a close orbit around Baekdu. This caused bewilderment and led researchers to wonder how this could have happened.
To test the validity of this discovery, scientists analyzed archived data from the past 13 years of Baekdu observations. The results showed that planet Hulla is a real planet. Now scientists are faced with the task of explaining how such a planet could survive in close orbit to the red giant.
Researchers have identified two main scenarios. The first assumes that Baekdu was once a star in a binary system. This means that Hulla may never have faced the danger of being absorbed. The merger of the two stars prevented them from expanding to a size capable of consuming the planet Hulla. If Baekdu had become a red giant on its own, it would have swallowed Hulla. However, the merger with the companion star allowed Baekdu to enter the helium burning phase without increasing in size enough to consume the planet.
The second scenario suggests that Halla might be a relatively young object. A powerful collision of two stars could have created the cloud of gas and dust from which this planet was formed. This means that Halla could be a “second generation” planet that escaped being absorbed by its star. However, both scenarios require further verification and additional research.
Scientists emphasize that these observations are extremely important to our understanding of the formation and evolution of stars and planets. They show that nature is constantly finding ways for exoplanets to appear, even in places where we least expect it.