Home LATEST NEWS An exoplanet detected where we did not expect it

An exoplanet detected where we did not expect it

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The giant planet (b Centauri b) orbit at a distance 100 times greater than that of Jupiter around the Sun. It was detected using the Very Large Telescope (TG) of the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

This observation surprises astronomers since they did not expect to find planets around such massive and hot stars.

Image of the most massive star pair observed to date with planet b Centauri b in orbit.

Image of the most massive star pair observed to date with planet b Centauri b in orbit.

Photo: ESO / Janson et al.

The discovery of a planet around b Centauri is very exciting, as it completely changes the image of massive stars as hosts of planets., explains in a press release Markus Janson, astronomer at Stockholm University and first author of the study published in the magazine Nature (New window) (in English).

The star duo b Centauri is located approximately 325 light years away in the constellation Centaur.

According to the researchers, its mass is six to ten times that of the Sun, which makes it far the most massive system around which a planet has been confirmed.

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To date, no planet has been spotted around a star more than three times as massive as the Sun.

Most massive stars are also very hot, and this system is no exception, since the surface temperature of its main star would exceed 18,000 degrees Celsius.

Its main star is a so-called B-type star which is more than three times hotter than the Sun. Due to its intense temperature, it emits large amounts of ultraviolet radiation and x-rays, note the researchers.

Inhospitable orbit

The mass and extreme heat of this type of star shapes the surrounding gas. The hotter a star, the more high-energy radiation it produces, resulting in faster evaporation of surrounding matter., say the researchers.

For this reason, type B stars are usually considered to be environments inhospitable to the aggregation of matter necessary for the birth of a planet.

However, the recent detection proves that planets can indeed form in such hostile star systems.

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The planet of b Centauri is an alien world in a completely different environment from what we experience here on Earth and in our solar system, explains Gayathri Viswanath, doctoral student at Stockholm University.: the stars are bigger, the planet is bigger, the distances are bigger. “,” text “:” It is a harsh environment, dominated by extreme radiations, where everything is on a gigantic scale: the stars are bigger the planet is bigger the distances are greater. “}}”>It’s a harsh environment, dominated by extreme radiation, where everything is on a gigantic scale: the stars are bigger, the planet is bigger, the distances are greater.

In addition, this exoplanet moves around the star system in one of the largest orbits ever observed. It is probably this distance from the central star pair that explains the survival of the planet.

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