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Massive Exoplanet Discovered, Challenges Established Planet Formation Theories 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the biggest-yet dept.
sfcrazy writes "A giant exoplanet that is in the most distant orbit ever seen around its host star, has been recently discovered. Dubbed HD 106906 b, the newly discovered planet is relatively young (13 million years old, compare this to our 4.5 billion years old Earth) and bigger than any other planet discovered till date. It is 11 times the size of Jupiter, and that's what makes it a most singular discovery."
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Massive Exoplanet Discovered, Challenges Established Planet Formation Theories

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  • by bigHairyDog (686475) on Monday December 09, 2013 @10:45AM (#45639169)
    How do astronomers calculate the age of a distant planet? I can see how they'd get distance from host star (orbital period) and mass (displacement of host star) but how on earth do you work out the age?
  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday December 09, 2013 @11:10AM (#45639419)

    Well, mass and size get thrown around a lot semi-interchangeably which they're most definitely not.

    80x the MASS of Jupiter and something becomes a star, but the established theory IIRC was that until you get to that point you keep cramming things in and the planet itself just kinda compresses more and doesn't get much bigger than Jupiter. If it ever gets big enough to become a star and achieve fusion then the pressure pushes it out and then it gets better.

    So if it is as the summary says and the planet is literally 11 times the size of Jupiter then that's quite a find. It basically says that there's either something wrong with either a) our understanding of planet formation or b) there's something wrong with how we measured this and the data is just wrong.

    If its 11 times the mass then yeah - kind of boring and expected.

  • by bigHairyDog (686475) on Monday December 09, 2013 @11:41AM (#45639803)
    Nice article, but that only says how they get the age of a star. I suppose that puts an upper limit on the age of the planet.

1: No code table for op: ++post

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