Massive planet discovered at extreme distance from its star

Massive planet discovered at extreme distance from its star

With every discovery of a new exoplanet, astronomers get to learn about how some of them are very different from others. These differences sometimes contradict the existing theories, and prompt scientists to start considering new theories to understand extraterrestrial objects better. Something similar happened when a team led by Dutch scientists found a new massive planet. 

Unique in its own way

The newly-discovered exoplanet is unique in a special way – it’s around 110 times far from its star than Earth is to the Sun. This solar system belongs to the southern constellation Musca, 360 light-years away from Earth. Dubbed YSES 2b, the planet discovery was made by the Young Suns Exoplanet Survey (YSES), using data from the Very Large Telescope.

The star it is orbiting is only 14 million years old but shows how our Sun would have appeared at that age. However, there’s no planet like YSES 2b orbiting our Sun. This will allow astronomers to understand the early days of our solar system. The team put forward three potential explanations of how such a massive planet could be located so far from its star.

Reason behind distant location

The first explanation says that it grew out of the protoplanetary disc, the most common planetary formation method. However, models of its early stage suggest that there wouldn’t have been enough material to form a planet that is six times the size of Jupiter. 

The second explanation suggests that a gravitational instability in the planetary disc caused the material to gather at the planet’s location. However, now there isn’t enough material around to do so.

And, the third explanation says that the planet formed closer to the star, but migrated to its current location in the last few million years. While a similar thing is believed to have occurred in our solar system known as the Grand Tack Hypothesis, scientists believe some other force might have caused the migration. While all three explanations can be argued, it’s possible that a new process caused the migration, which would be new to science.

Disclaimer: The above article has been aggregated by a computer program and summarised by an Steamdaily specialist. You can read the original article at universetoday
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