Astronomy News

Newly discovered planet shouldn’t exist?

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Artist’s conception/NASA JPL-Caltech

A giant planet that orbits its star at 650 times the average Earth-Sun distance. And “throws a wrench in planet formation theories.”

Weighing in at 11 times Jupiter’s mass and orbiting its star at 650 times the average Earth-Sun distance, planet HD 106906 b is unlike anything in our own Solar System and throws a wrench in planet formation theories.

This system is especially fascinating because no model of either planet or star formation fully explains what we see,” said Vanessa Bailey, who led the research. Bailey is a fifth-year graduate student in the UA’s Department of Astronomy.

It is thought that planets close to their stars, like Earth, coalesce from small asteroid-like bodies born in the primordial disk of dust and gas that surrounds a forming star. However, this process acts too slowly to grow giant planets far from their star. Another proposed mechanism is that giant planets can form from a fast, direct collapse of disk material. However, primordial disks rarely contain enough mass in their outer reaches to allow a planet like HD 106906 b to form. Several alternative hypotheses have been put forward, including formation like a mini binary star system. …

File under: Wanted: Astronomers. It’s more exciting than you think.

File with: Don’t drop your math and physics. Waiting on tables is a sunset industry.

One Reply to “Newly discovered planet shouldn’t exist?

  1. 1
    selvaRajan says:

    Clio2 is a Infrared detector so it would be enlightening to get a closer look at the area with Microwave Radiation detector(instead of relaying on Planck CMBR alone). We could find radiation remnants of earlier galactic bodies which may solve the mystery of such a large separation. A 650 AU separation for a co-moving body is unusual. What is even more unusual is that similar mass bodies have separation >35 AU.

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