Scientists find "super fluffy" planet with the consistency of cotton candy 🤤
· May 15, 2024 ·

Kids everywhere, rejoice: All you have to do is master the speed of light and figure out how to extend your lifespan out to 12 centuries, and you can travel to the happiest place in the universe:

Researchers discovered a huge planet 1,200 light years from Earth with a density comparable to that of cotton candy, scientists said Monday. ...

'The planet is so light that it's difficult to think of an analogous, solid-state material,' Julien de Wit, MIT professor and study co-author, said in a news release. 'The reason why it's close to cotton candy is because both are pretty much air. The planet is basically super fluffy.'

You got to love that: "It's difficult to think of an analogous, solid-state material." You can picture these scientists sitting around the development table for five, six, seven hours trying to figure out how to describe this planet. Finally one of them's like: "Cotton candy!" And the rest are like:

Alas, though it sounds delicious, the planet — WASP-193b — is "mostly made of hydrogen and helium." Nothing so edible about it.

Also, it's 1,200 light-years away, which is, I think, about 3,600 trillion miles. So even if it was made of literal cotton candy, it's a bit of a hike.

Jokes aside, the planetary type is definitely a mystery for scientists:

'We don't know where to put this planet in all the formation theories we have right now, because it's an outlier of all of them,' Francisco Pozuelos, study author and astronomer at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, said in a statement. 'We cannot explain how this planet was formed.'

Maybe we'll find out one day, but I'm guessing it wasn't made in a galactic-sized sugar spinner.

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