Exoplanets are those planets located in far-distant solar systems, usually at hundreds of light years away from us. Many space agencies around the world, especially NASA and ESA, launched so-called “exoplanets hunters,” some very powerful space telescopes that can locate and study these distant worlds. The most renowned mission, the Kepler Space Telescope, helped researchers find thousands of planets outside our solar system in their search for a far-distant “sister” of our planet. However, here are the most bizarre exoplanets ever found, to date.
Osiris – HD 209458b exoplanet
Osiris, which, yes, got its name from the Egyptian god, orbits around a star at 150 light years away from us in the Pegasus constellation. Osiris is, however, one of the most exciting exoplanets ever found because it has oxygen and carbon in its atmosphere.
This far-distant world is so fabulous and, because it’s close to its host star, it’s evaporating very fast that forced scientists come up with a new classification for exoplanets, namely, the chthonian planets.
In fact, Osiris or HD 209458b is only the dead core of a more massive gas planet.
Tatooine – Kepler-16b
Kepler-16b, dubbed as Tatooine in respect for the Luke Skywalker’s home planet in the Star Wars movies, is a dead gaseous exoplanet that can’t host life. What makes Tatooine one of the most bizarre exoplanets ever found is that it is orbiting two host stars which make it be a circumbinary planet.
“This discovery confirms a new class of planetary systems that could harbor life. Given that most stars in our galaxy are part of a binary system, this means the opportunities for life are much broader than if planets form only around single stars,” explained William Borucki from the Kepler Space Telescope science team.
New Earth – Kepler-22b
One of the most bizarre exoplanets found by Kepler Space Telescope is the so-called New Earth or, as it is known scientifically, Kepler-22b. This planet orbits around a star located between the Cygnus and Lyra constellations at 600 light years away from us, which is 25% less shiny than our Sun.
The New Earth exoplanet is, in fact, a Super-Earth because it is two times larger than our planet. Kepler-22b also presents a rocky core and orbits its host star within the so-called habitable zone. This far-distant world is one of the candidates for housing extraterrestrial life as the temperatures on its surface reach around 23 degrees Celsius.