Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Newly discovered giant planet does not follow the rules

NGTS-1b and star (artist’s impression) /Mark Garlick, University of Warwick

From Nicole Mortillaro at CBC:

The star is a red M-dwarf, the most common star in our universe. But until now, it wasn’t believed that a gaseous planet of such a size, would ever exist orbiting this type of low-mass star.

The reason astronomers believed that a gas giant this large wasn’t capable of forming around a low-mass star was due to the belief that there isn’t enough material in a cloud of dust and debris that form star systems such as this one.

“Perhaps we’ve just been very lucky and found something that is very, very rare,” said Bayliss, lead author of the paper which will be published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

“But it’s also possible that this is not so rare; we just have to think a little bit more about how these planets are forming, and perhaps they can form a lot more easily than we thought.” More.

Doubtless, there are many more surprises to come.

Note: Technical information about the planet here.

See also: Rob Sheldon: The skinny on those ten new exoplanets

I'm no astronomer but a quick search indicates that red dwarves are only rarely found as binaries. And while they call gas giants failed stars the reality is that Jupiter would have to be almost 80 times more massive to have a chance of igniting. So unlike "2001 a Space Odyssey" (I'm dating myself) where Jupiter became a second star it's in fact impossible. Latemarch
It may be useful to note that Gas Giants are failed stars. So the next logical question is: how often are red dwarfs paired in binary systems? If the new gas giant catches fire, would it still be remarkable? vmahuna

Leave a Reply