Zombie planets are planets that exist without any stars or even after their stars’ supernovas.
Space News: All stars have a limited lifespan which can feel a bit longer as they could live for billion human years. As stars shine through the nuclear fusion process, when after some time the process stop, and the pressure drop leading to Supernovas, and in the process destroying all the planets surrounding them. But sometimes somehow Some planets survive which are commonly known as Zombie Planet.
What is A Supernova: At some point will Sun Die too?
(Source: The Atlantic)
All stars have a limited period and as the sun is a star too, at some point, it too will go into supernova destroying our solar system planets.
Stars shine through the process known as nuclear fusion, which is caused when lighter atoms such as hydrogen, fuse to create heavier ones such as oxygen, and when this process creates huge explosions or releases vast amounts of energy which at a large scale even lights up stars as big and bigger than the sun.
The process releases vast-released energy which impedes the enduring inward pull of the star’s gravity. Ultimately fusion helps stars to resist gravitational collapse. And this balance of forces is called “Hydrostatic Equilibrium.”
Supernovae is a powerful, luminous, and colossal explosions of stars, in simpler words, supernovae occur when a star’s fuel ends, and it eventually dies. Stars with a size of eight to ten times of sun’s size will die as their fuel will end in less than 100 million years.
This will lead to an end of the nuclear fusion process and as the process impedes the inward pull of the star, it balances the stars but after the process, there is no outward push against the gravity of the star leading to gravity taking over the star which causes stars to die in seconds causing Supernova.
Supernovas release so much energy that they create a new atomic nucleus. As massive star collides, they produce shockwaves that cause fusion reactions in the star’s outer shell. These fusion reactions make some new nuclei, and this process is called nucleosynthesis. Supernovae are considered one the original materials/elements which are originally heavier than iron.
Even the iron in the human body can be traced back to supernovae.
Zombie Planets: Saved from Supernovae
Now, if a supernova releases so much energy how do some planets survive?
Supernova’s energy is great enough to light up a whole galaxy. The remains of a Supernova collapse, dead stellar cores called neutron stars, or if the star was big enough a black hole is created.
Any planet orbiting a star when it dies would be obliterated, but mysteriously or one can say naturally some planets do survive the explosion and stay in the orbit of supernovas, which are called Zombie Planets. And they are some of the weirdest worlds in the cosmos.
Neutron stars are extremely dense containing as much if not more mass than the sun. Some neutron stars emit beams of radio waves in space – and it is around them zombie planets are discovered. And as these emitted radio waves are regular so it makes pulsars ideal for hunting zombie planets.
2,300 lightyears from earth lie the pulsar PSR B1257 +12, which flashes 161 times per second and has been named Lich. 3 Zombie planets named Phobetor, Draugr, and Poltergeist are said to be orbiting it.
The planets hold a particularly prominent place in the history of astronomy, as these are the first planets that were discovered beyond our solar system back in 1991.
Draugr is the innermost planet of the three, which is almost twice the size of earth’s moon and is the least massive planet currently orbiting Lich every 25 days. Whereas Phobetor and Poltergeist are about four times the size of the earth and they orbit Lich once in 67 and 98 days respectively.
Neutron stars or pulsars can be extremely hot from the residual heat left from the supernova. Lich is estimated to be as hot as 30,000℃ and as Draugr, is likely estimated to be a few degrees below freezing on the surface.
Diamond World and Methuselah: New Zombies Planets
As for Methuselah, which is named after a titan-like turtle, it orbits the Milky way and various galaxies and is a globular star cluster (one of the oldest and biggest stars in the universe discovered and contains approx. 1,00,000 stars in its group) nicknamed Messier M4.
Messier M4 lies around 5,600 light years away, at the center of the M4 star cluster a pulsar and White Dwarf are orbiting in a shared gravitational orbit every 161 days. Methuselah also orbits the center, but at a much slower pace of 100 years or so, it has the same distance that of Uranus and the Sun.
The giant gas planet is around 2.5 times the mass of Jupiter. Methuselah is believed to have formed as a normal planet that orbited a Sun-like star at the start of the universe but was later captured by a host pulsar, which it has been orbiting since.
The high density of Pulsar makes the chances of two stars having a close encounter and exchanging of the planets seem more usual than it sounds.
Methuselah is the oldest known planet in the cosmos estimated to be around 12.7 billion or so years old. Not only Pulsar planets some zombie planets seem to be orbiting black holes, however, only one has been discovered.
Planet PSR J1719-1438b o or more commonly known as Diamond World orbits a pulsar from 4,000 light years away, orbiting the host in just two hours. It is the densest planet found to date. The Diamond World is a core of a dead star called White Dwarf.
It is said to have a huge amount of carbon which is called a White Dwarf as carbon are substances that makes diamonds – but this particular star has already lost 99.99 percent of its mass in a supernova.
The original size of White Dwarf is estimated to be around half the size of Jupiter, and orbits PSR at a distance of 600,000 Km, at such a close distance it is assumed that this world has a very hot surface.
(With inputs from Multiple Media Outlets)
Read More at: – Chinese-discover-method-to-convert-lunar-soil
Very intresting and well presented, 👏👏
Thank you do read more of my article.