Astronomers spot a gigantic planet orbiting small stars

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Astronomers spot a gigantic planet orbiting small stars
Astronomers spot a gigantic planet orbiting small stars

New Delhi : Roughly around 284 trillion kilometers from Earth, the astronomers have located a gigantic planet that is believed to be orbiting small stars. Infact, according to the general theory of how planets are formed this is a kind of planet which must not have existed.

But, the reality is different.

According to a report published in the journal Science on Sept. 27, the Calar Alto, Sierra Nevada and Montsec Astronomical observatories in Spain and the Las Cumbres Observatory in California have confirmed the planet's existence.

The new planet, named GJ 3512b, is seen revolving around M-type red dwarf. This kind of star is quite small, traditionally one fifth the size of the sun and up to 50 times dimmer. For comparison, our sun weighs roughly 333,000 times more than Earth while GJ 3512b's star only weighs 270 times more. Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, weighs around 1,047 times less than the sun.

With half the size of Jupiter, the new planet is too big in its size to be able to revolve around a dwarf.

"For the first time, we have accurately characterized an exoplanet that cannot be explained by the core accretion formation model," said lead author Juan Carlos Morales, speaking to Space. "This exoplanet proves that the gravitational instability model may play a role in the formation of giant planets."

According to existing models, that makes GJ 3512b way too big to be orbiting an M-type red dwarf of this size.

"Around such stars there should only be planets the size of the Earth or somewhat more massive Super-Earths," Christoph Mordasini, co-author of the study, told the BBC.