As of December 1, nearly 4,900 exoplanets have been discovered, and they are part of more than 3,600 planetary systems. Discovering a new world orbiting a distant star is always a massive sensation, especially when it comes to a giant and rare planet like the recently discovered Centauri b. The portal drew attention to the topic futuristic.
Unique outer planet
The exoplanet b Centauri b is a unique world orbiting the binary star system b Centauri, located 325 light-years away. The portal warns that the discovery of this planet makes Centauri the largest binary star with which the planet has been identified. ScienceAlert. In addition, we were able to detect the planet by direct observation with the VLT telescope.
2/ Located 325 light-years away, the two-star system contains at least six solar masses and emits high-energy radiation. It was believed that planets could not exist around stars this massive and hot – until now.
– This (ESO) December 8, 2021
Since the exoplanets are located at a great distance and reflect light very lightly, their direct observation always excites and impresses them. Given our technological capabilities, b Centauri b is one of the few exoplanets we’ve been able to observe directly. However, this fact is perhaps in this case the smallest sensation that Centauri b.
First of all, this discovery made the Centauri binary the heaviest binary star in which the planet has been discovered. Until its discovery, scientists did not even believe that such a massive and massive binary system could host a planet. According to the available information, the planet has not been detected in any star with a mass more than 3 times the mass of the Sun.
The combined mass of the two stars that make up the b Centauri binary star system is 6 to 10 times the mass of the Sun, making this system the heaviest known planetary host.
In addition, the “dancing” pair of stars is the hottest binary star the planet orbits. Stars that orbit so close to each other that until recently were considered a single star to be extremely hot and emit so much X-rays/ultraviolet that exoplanets should have a major problem forming at all.
The temperature of the main star of the system reaches 17,760 ° C, which is three times higher than the surface temperature of our Sun. This binary system consists of very young stars that are only 15 million years old, which is almost nothing compared to the age of our central star. (The age of the Sun is 4.6 billion years)
As for the planet itself, it is a scientific gem in itself. It is a colossal giant up to 10.9 times larger than the largest and most massive planet in the solar system (Jupiter). In addition, the planet orbits its stars even 100 times farther than Jupiter around the sun. In other words, the planet orbits around the stars b Centauri at a distance of 556 AU (AU – the astronomical unit represents the distance between the Sun and the Earth).
Discovery changed our view of the stars
According to the authors, the discovery of this planet completely changes the view of massive stars as hosts of planets. The experts published their study in the journal temper nature They state that such a vast distance, or grand orbit, one of the largest, may be the reason for the planet to exist and survive in such a harsh and inhospitable environment.
However, scientists do not yet dare to say for sure how b Centauri b formed. According to accepted models, the planet could be formed by gradually packing dust particles into swirls in a molecular cloud. Given its distance from its star, this possibility is relatively unlikely. However, it is possible that the planet was closer to the stars at the time of formation and eventually moved away from them.
The second scenario is gravitational instability, which means that the dust and gas in the accretion disk has collapsed into the planet. Although neither of these options is 100%, it is certain that the existence of the planet disrupts many of the things that astrophysicists have thought about planet formation.
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