Massive alien planet found circling huge, super hot star duo

Massive alien planet found circling huge, super hot star duo

The found Planet massive than the Jupiter

A newly discovered alien world may force scientists to reconsider their theories about planet formation.

According to a new study, an exoplanet 11 times more massive than Jupiter lives in b Centauri, a young binary star system about 325 light-years from Earth.

The planet, known as b Centauri b, is one of the most massive ever discovered. And the two stars in b Centauri are six to ten times more massive than our sun. It is by far the most massive system in which a planet has been discovered to date. According to the researchers, b Centauri is also the hottest known planet-hosting star system.

“Finding a planet around b Centauri was very exciting,” said Markus Janson, an astronomer at Stockholm University in Sweden.

The Huge and Hot Star System

The two b Centauri stars are only about 15 million years old, compared to our sun, which has been burning for over 4.5 billion years.

The duo’s combined mass would appear to make them unsuitable planet hosts. After all, the heaviest known binary star system with planets contains 2.7 solar masses, as do the heaviest single stars. They are confirmed to have worlds orbiting them that is roughly three times the mass of our sun, according to study team members.

The heat and power of the b Centauri system support that bad-parent assumption. According to the researchers, the main star, b Centauri A, is a B-type star with an estimated temperature of around 32,000 degrees Fahrenheit (18,000 degrees Celsius). That’s roughly three times hotter than our G-type sun and three times hotter than any other known planet-hosting star.

As a result, b Centauri B releases a huge amount of high-energy X-ray and UV radiation, which tends to scatter planet-forming gas and dust.

“B-type stars are generally thought to be quite destructive and dangerous environments,” Janson explained. “It was thought that forming large planets around them would be extremely difficult.”

The newfound planet opposing the odds

b Centauri b was found by Janson and his colleagues with the help of instrument, known as Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research (SPHERE). It is housed on the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile.

SPHERE captured a direct image of b Centauri b, a feat it has accomplished with several other exoplanets. The researchers were able to characterize the planet by analyzing the SPHERE observations, which revealed that it has other extraordinary properties aside from its enormous size and the mass and heat of its parent stars.

For instance, b Centauri b is at present 550 astronomical units (AU) away from the star duo. The duo star is 14 times farther than the Pluto’s average distance from the sun.

According to the authors of the study, which was published online Wednesday (Dec. 8) in the journal Nature, this is one of the widest planetary orbits known. This vast distance may explain the planet’s survival by keeping it at a safe distance from the radiation blasting from the core of the b Centauri system.

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