A gigantic world has been discovered by a team of astronomers that is approximately 10 times larger than Jupiter. Named b Centauri b, this planet was found circling b Centauri, a 2-star system that has 6x more mass than the Sun.
It’s located approx. 325 light-years away in the Centaurus constellation. This latest discovery is visible to the naked eye due to its extravagant size and is situated at a 100 times greater distance than Jupiter, thus making it one of the widest orbits found yet. This huge distance from other central stars is being considered the main reason for its survival.
The discovery was first made back in July through the use of the Spectro-Parimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research Instrument (SPHERE), which was mounted on a Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the European Observatory in Chile, but has been formally published only this week in the journal "Nature".
It's orbiting around the B-type star is shocking news for astronomers, as it was previously thought that a star this hotter than the sun would make it impossible for any planet to circle it.
According to Markus Janson, an astronomer at Stockholm University, Sweden, "Finding a planet around b Centauri was very exciting since it completely changes the picture of massive stars hosting planets."
"B-type stars are generally regarded as highly destructive and deadly environments," he continued. It was thought that forming huge planets around them would be extremely difficult. "Everything about it is strange in some ways," Jonson explains. But it can be said that the planet had somewhat of a calm past as the planet's orbit seems rather clear.
This remarkable gas giant is also one of the heaviest ever found. This discovery has surely challenged scientists' notions regarding planets' formation and evolution.
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