Scientists discover massive 'forbidden' planet that shouldn't exist
News » Science & Technology
Scientists have discovered a huge Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a very small star, calling the combination “forbidden” because it challenges theories about how planets form, a new study reports. forbidden worlds”, which raises questions about how the smallest and coldest stars in the universe– M-dwarfs – may contain gas giants.
M dwarfs, also known as “red dwarfs”, are typically less than half the mass of the Sun, but what they lack in weight they more than make up for in abundance and longevity. These cold and dim celestial bodies are the most common type of stars in the Milky Way. They are expected to burn for trillions of years, orders of magnitude longer than the Sun's estimated 10 billion lifespan. Therefore, scientists have long been interested in the properties of M dwarfs, including their potential ability to support life.
Now, researchers led by Shubham Kanodia, Ph.D. discovered a gas giant the size of Jupiter. The find, located 280 light-years from Earth, has been dubbed TOI-5205b, marking the first time such a large world has been discovered around a small star.
“We are particularly interested in giant planets that revolve around low-mass stars. Until recently, we did not think that they could form, – Kanodia said. “Now we can move from collecting to understanding a sample of these planets.”
The discovery of TOI-5205b may help explain the mysterious processes that create these large planets around small stars.
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