According to study, Astronomers mistook the rocky planets with rings that they have discovered unknowingly as other kinds of worlds. The rings around these Solar System gas giant planets are famous as a wrap that can be seen around Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Jupiter. However, all other rocky planets in the solar system currently lack rings.
Anthony Piro, the new study’s author and an astrophysicist at the Observatories, told Space.com, that rocky planets could also have rings. For instance, the moon of Mars, known as Phobos, has also taken the shape of the rings around the red planet. As soon as the moon gets closer to the Mars over the time, Phobos is expected to be torn to retake a form of a ring again, over a period of about 50 million years, Piro said.
The rings around the planet can make them look more extensive than they seem. It might be the reason why astronomers have mistaken these ringed planets as another world. According to Piro, the rings around the exoplanets might appear to the astronomers as the world that passes in front of the stars. He also added that these rocky, ringed planets look more like sub-Neptune planets, which is the kind of planet not seen in the Earth’s solar system.
As per the research, these sub-Neptune planets are 1.6 times bigger diameter than the Earth, but these are still smaller than Neptune, which is 3.9 times bigger as compared to Earth’s diameter. These sub-Neptune planets are not entirely rocky as these have low densities, but scientists had revealed that they are puffy, and have gaseous atmosphere consists of helium and hydrogen.
However, Piro also suggested that he is not saying that all the planets that scientists have discovered as sub-Neptune planet till now are rocky planets with rings. But he also revealed that this group of sub-Neptune planets discovered by astronomers offers an opportunity to study these rocked planets. He also added that the planet appears to be really, really cloudy, it might have lots of water on it.
Another way to find if the exoplanet is a rocky-planet or sub-Neptune planet with rings is to observe the light shining past the planet as the world moves in front of the star. “When light leaks through the atmosphere around an exoplanet, you can see some signs of what that atmosphere is made of,” Piro said.