The Four Neptune-Like Planets of the Kepler 223 Star System Has The Coolest And Unique Orbital Arrangements Ever Seen

First Posted: May 13, 2016 04:59 AM EDT

The astronomers have discovered one of a unique planetary arrangements they have ever seen. They saw four miniature Neptunes that are locked in perfect synch with each other. This is probably happening for billions of years already.

These four Neptune-like planets are orbiting at a distance closer than Mercury is to the sun. The researchers from the University of Chicago and UC Berkeley have also found out that these planets are in an orbital dance that they have never seen before, according to Gizmodo.

Sean Mills, as astronomer and scientist from the University of Chicago, said that how and where the planets form is an outstanding question in planetary science. He further said that their work basically tests a model for planet formation for a type of planet that is not in the Solar System.

He explained that these four gaseous planets, far more massive than Earth, orbit close to their stars. This raises concern and debate about how they form and how they get there.

Sci-News reports that the astronomers utilized the NASA's Kepler Space Telescope to examine how the four planets in the Kepler-223 system-Kepler-223 b, c, d and e,--block the starlight and alter each other orbits, thus reckoning the planet's sizes and masses.

The planetary resonance works in this way. When the innermost planet orbits eight times, the next planet on the system orbits exactly six times, trailed by orbits of four and three correspondingly. It's synchronized orbital periods can be expressed as the ratio of 8:6:4:3. The two innermost planets are in a 4:3 resonance, the second and third planets are in a 3:2 resonance and the third and fourth are on a 4:3 resonance. The astronomers have monitored extrasolar systems that have two or three planets in resonance but never four planets. Daniel Fabrycky, co-author of the study from the University of Chicago said that this is the most extreme example of this phenomenon.

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