Finding The Impossible
Years ago, astronomers launched a satellite known as Kepler to hunt down and send back information about any planets in space. The satellite is now defunct, but it found a ton of stuff because space is filled with planets. Scientists are still making their way through all of the images Kepler found, and they are puzzled by a white dwarf that was thought to be impossible.
No Easy Explanation
The tiny white dwarf planet is named KIC 8145411 and is in the last stage of its lifecycle. Most white dwarfs are around 60 percent of our sun’s mass, but this one is approximately 20 percent. There have been smaller dwarf planets, but this one is deemed impossible because there is a lack of a parent planet.
Typically these white dwarfs are ‘fed’ by other nearby stars, and this one would need to have a tiny one to feed it. Small stars take much longer to evolve and develop than regular-sized ones, so this white dwarf’s star would have been around before the creation of the universe.
Needing More Data
For scientists to learn how this white dwarf planet was created, they need more information. There possibly was a planet transferring its mass, but it has been ejected from this system. The more planets like this found by Kepler, the better chance astronomers have of understanding its creation
Scientists believe that with newer telescopes, they will find more white dwarf planets and begin to unravel the mystery of how KIC 8145411 came to be.