Consider | A Planet that Requires us to Question Our Understanding of the Cosmos

Consider | A Planet that Requires us to Question Our Understanding of the Cosmos

A planet has just been discovered which, by our current understanding of the cosmos, should not be able to exist.

NGTS-1b is a planet that our world’s newest and most advanced celestial observation equipment—the Next-Generation Transit Survey—has just observed. But, despite the observations being the absolute highest in quality and accuracy, their results show something that shouldn’t be possible based upon the conventional understanding of the universe.

What they depict is a planet that’s more than a quarter the size of its sun, which it orbits once every three days. It’s completely preposterous, based upon the standard understanding of the cosmos, but repeated observations have returned the same result, leading to the question: is all of our technology wrong, or is our understanding of the cosmos wrong?

In theory, it is impossible. Current theories of planetary emergence dictate that only small, rocky planets – and not a giant planet – can form around a dwarf star. The most recent discovery by the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) system has thrown some doubt on this assumption. NGTS-1b is a planet of a size equivalent to that of Jupiter, orbiting a star that is only half as big as the Sun.


For some, this might all sound odd. However, it’s only the most recent discovery in a long-running chain of so-called “impossible” findings that have been emerging for decades alongside the more palatable discoveries made in astronomy and astrophysics. Of course, the key difference between these two kinds of discoveries is that the palatable variety are graciously courted by mainstream news sources, while the so-called “impossible” discoveries receive little attention and are quickly forgotten. Without digressing too far, examples of such impossible findings include: black holes that are too large, galaxies that are moving too fast, distantly spread celestial objects that are somehow in harmony, stars that are too large to exist, planets with million-year orbits, red-shift, impossible traits of comets, etc, etc—this list really could go on for some time. The point is that such “impossible” discoveries occur about as often as “reasonable” discoveries, and this should raise some concern.

Also interesting is the fact that this planet apparently travels around its sun, the equivalent of a year for us, in 2.6 days.


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