Rugby ball-shaped exoplanet discovered — ScienceDaily


With the help of the CHEOPS space telescope, an international team including researchers from the Universities of Bern and Geneva as well as the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS, was able to detect the deformation of an exoplanet for the first time. Due to strong tidal forces, the appearance of the planet WASP-103b resembles a rugby ball rather than a sphere.

On coasts, the tides determine the rhythm of events. At low tide, boats remain on land; at high tide, the way out to sea is cleared for them again. On Earth, the tides are mainly generated by the moon. Its gravitational pull causes an accumulation of water in the ocean region below, which is then missing in surrounding regions and thus accounts for the low tide. Although this deformation of the ocean causes striking differences in level in many places, it is hardly recognisable from space.

On the planet…

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