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Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Science |

Discovered a planet 13 times bigger than Jupiter

Discovered a planet 13 times bigger than Jupiter

Rarely get direct images of planets distant from ours but this time a group of researchers from the Institute of Astrophysics in Munich has managed to capture a planet 13 times larger than Jupiter using the Japanese telescope Subaro which is located in Mauna Kea (Hawaii). The orbits a star called Kappa Andromedae located 170 light-years away from Earth and observable to the naked eye in the direction of the constellation Andromeda. The star is estimated to have about 30 million years, is relatively young when compared to our Sun, which formed about 4,650 million years.

The planet is a gas giant which has dubbed Kappa Andromedae b even though some call it super-Jupiter . The planet has a temperature of about 1,400 degrees Celsius and to the human eye color would be bright red.

The distance that separates it from its star is similar to that between Neptune of our Sun, so it is believed that their training is similar to that of smaller rocky planets in a disk of gas and dust protoplanetary. Astronomers are not sure if they are at a planet or a brown dwarf, as if the object would generate fusion power would be faced with the second option. A brown dwarf is a particular type of star that has a mass only slightly above that of a planet. For now, the researchers are cautious because the data are not sufficient and that more analysis will provide new data that will serve to tip the balance in one direction or another.

Research is a shared success for the project Strategic Explorations with Subaru Exoplanets and Disks (SEEDS) after five years of effort. The result of this discovery will be published in the next issue of the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters . Thayne Currie, author of the study, explains the findings:

Our team has identified in January a subject very close to the star Kappa Andromedae [...] This planetary system is very different from ours. The star is much larger than the Sun, Kappa Andromedae b is at least ten times larger than any planet in our planet and is much farther from its star than any of our planets from the Sun’s essentially difficult that large planets form far from their star. Kappa Andromedae b eludes our theories of planet formation.

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