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PASS THE PLANET Deformed rugby ball shaped planet discovered in deep space is baffling scientists

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A RUGBY ball-shaped planet has been spotted outside our Solar System and scientists are calling it deformed.

Exoplanet WAP-103b has been baffling experts for numerous reasons ever since it was spotted in the Hercules constellation.

The European Space Agency said in a statement: "ESA’s exoplanet mission Cheops has revealed that an exoplanet orbiting its host star within a day has a deformed shape more like that of a rugby ball than a sphere.

"This is the first time that the deformation of an exoplanet has been detected, offering new insights into the internal structure of these star-hugging planets."

ESA scientists are trying to work out what's going on at the exoplanet.

An exoplanet is a term used to describe a planet outside of our Solar System.

The researchers have used data from Nasa's Hubble and Spitzer telescopes as well as the ESA's Cheops space telescope.

They've just published a paper with all their findings.

They found out that the planet is twice the size of Jupiter and likely has a structure similar to a gas giant.

WASP-103b is thought to experience extreme tidal forces as the star orbits tugs on it.

The ESA released an infographic to explain how the planet likely bent out of shape.

It's thought the planet has been very inflated by its star.

Lead author of the study Susana Barros said: "If we can confirm the details of its internal structure with future observations, maybe we could better understand what makes it so inflated.

"Knowing the size of the core of this exoplanet will also be important to better understand how it formed."

The scientists are also confused by the fact the planet appears to be moving away from its star.

Some planets eventually end up consumed by their stars but the opposite appears to be happening with WASP-103b.

Scientists will continue their observations of the peculiar space object.

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