Scientists have discovered a solar system 30 light-years away from Earth that defies present understanding about planet formation, with a big Jupiter-like planet orbiting a diminutive star referred to as a red dwarf.
Stars generally are much bigger than even the biggest planets that orbit them. However, in this case, the star and the planet aren’t a lot different in size, the researchers mentioned on Thursday.
The star, known as GJ 3512, is about 12% the size of our sun, while the planet that orbits it has a mass of at least about half of Jupiter, our solar system’s giant planet.
The planet, which like Jupiter consists mainly of gas, was found using a telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain. It travels around its star in a very elliptical orbit lasting 204 days.
Red dwarfs are small, with relatively low surface temperatures. GJ 3512 isn’t only a lot smaller than our sun, it’s somewhat comparable in size to a very massive planet, being only about 35% bigger than Jupiter.
There is proof of a second planet at present orbiting the star, while a 3rd planet might need ejecting from the star system previously, explaining the elliptical orbit of the Jupiter-like planet, Morales stated.
Planets are born from the identical disk of interstellar gas and dust that produces the star around which they orbit. Under the leading model for planetary formation, known as the “core accretion” model, an object initially types from solid particles in the disk and the gravitational pull of this embryonic planet allows for an atmosphere to come up from the surrounding gas.
A competing model, known as the gravitational instability model, may clarify this unique system.