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Waspie_Dwarf

Giant Planets and ‘Failed Stars’

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Waspie_Dwarf

Distant Giant Planets Form Differently Than ‘Failed Stars’

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Maunakea, Hawaii – A team of astronomers led by Brendan Bowler of The University of Texas at Austin has probed the formation process of giant exoplanets and brown dwarfs, a class of objects that are more massive than giant planets, but not massive enough to ignite nuclear fusion in their cores to shine like true stars.

Using direct imaging with ground-based telescopes in Hawaii – W. M. Keck Observatory and Subaru Telescope on Maunakea – the team studied the orbits of these faint companions orbiting stars in 27 systems. These data, combined with modeling of the orbits, allowed them to determine that the brown dwarfs in these systems formed like stars, but the gas giants formed like planets.

arrow3.gif  Read More: W. M. Keck Observatory

 

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