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Giant exoplant discovered in distant orbit

Posted on Saturday, 7 December, 2013 | Comment icon 5 comments

Astronomers can't explain how such a planet came to form. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Astronomers are perplexed by the discovery of a huge planet with the most distant orbit ever seen.
Known as HD 106906 b, the newly found world is a staggering 11 times the size of Jupiter and orbits its parent star at 650 times the average distance between the Earth and the sun, a configuration that has never been observed before.

Conventional planet formation theories based on the structure of our own system have a hard time explaining how such a huge planet could have formed so far from its parent star. "This system is especially fascinating because no model of either planet or star formation fully explains what we see," said researcher Vanessa Bailey.

Scientists will now be looking to factor in the data from this new star system to help update our understanding of how solar systems form.

"Every new directly detected planet pushes our understanding of how and where planets can form," said study co-investigator Tiffany Meshkat. "Discoveries like HD 106906 b provide us with a deeper understanding of the diversity of other planetary systems."

Source: NBC News | Comments (5)

Tags: Extrasolar Planet

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 6 December, 2013, 1:20
Couldn't this be explained by the planet for some reason being moved out of it's original orbit by interference from another body, much like with the "hot Jupiters"?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 6 December, 2013, 3:31
Hot Jupiters usually migrate as a result interactions with the planetary disk. This causes the planet to fall move in towards the star not to move outwards.
Comment icon #3 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 6 December, 2013, 3:34
Yeah, but I was thinking of something like gravitational attraction from a star drifting too close or a rogue brown dwarf. I don't know just throwing it out there.
Comment icon #4 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 9 December, 2013, 1:51
I was also thinking this could be a rogue planet that had been captured by this star
Comment icon #5 Posted by shaddow134 on 9 December, 2013, 2:35
Big planet,could nearly be called a low mass Brown Dwarf.

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