Scientists are observing a massive planet almost nine times the mass of Jupiter at a very early stage of the planets’ formation. Some of the researchers described the planet located around star AB Aurigae as still in the womb. The discovery challenges different theories about planetary formation making it very intriguing for scientists.
The team that discovered the planet was using the Subaru Telescope located at the top of an inactive Hawaiian volcano. After it was located, researchers used the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope to study the and track the planet. They learned that it is a gas giant orbiting unusually far from its host star.
Gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn are mostly composed of hydrogen and helium, with swirling gases surrounding a smaller solid core. An astrophysicist Thayne Currie and lead author of the study published said “we think it is still very early on in its ‘birthing’ process, … Evidence suggests that this is the earliest stage of formation ever observed for a gas giant.”
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