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'Monster' planet discovery challenges formation theory

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:31 pm

A giant planet, which should not exist according to planet formation theory, has been discovered around a distant star. The new research is presented in a paper recently accepted for publication in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The existence of the 'monster' planet, NGTS-1b, challenges theories of planet formation which state that a planet of this size could not be formed around such a small star. According to these theories, small stars can readily form rocky planets but do not gather enough material together to form Jupiter-sized planets.

NGTS-1b however, is a gas giant—due to its size and temperature, the planet is known as a 'hot Jupiter," a class of planets that are at least as large as our solar system's very own Jupiter, but with around 20 percent less mass. Unlike Jupiter however, NGTS-1b is very close to its star – just 3 percent of the distance between Earth and the Sun, and completes an orbit every 2.6 days, meaning a year on NGTS-1b lasts two and a half Earth days.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:32 pm

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Credit: University of Warwick/Mark Garlick

Artist’s impression of the cool red star and gas-giant planet NGTS-1b against the Milky Way. Credit: University of Warwick/Mark Garlick

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:33 pm



Astronomers have found something they thought was impossible: a gas giant roughly the size of Jupiter orbiting a white dwarf half the mass and size of the Sun.

 
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