A team of scientists discovered a similar planet to Jupiter found approximately 100-light years away from our solar system. Researchers say that the discovery of the Jupiter-like planet will help better comprehend the mystery of planetary evolution.
Astronomers say the planet is 20 million years old and they have denominated it 51 Eridani b. It is the first planet detected by the GPI (Gemini Planet Imager), designed to examine methodically young planets orbiting nearby stars.
UCLA professor of physics and astronomy and co-author of the study, James Larkin, reported that the majority of discovered solar systems are quite different from our own, meaning that their massive planets are close to their stars.
He continued by saying that prior investigation did not lead to systems like our own because, while rocky planets were close to their star, gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn were at large distances in between. He explained that the GPI’s aim was to spot large planets at considerable separations from their star. The GPI was said to reveal the commonness of our solar system’s architecture.
The presence of methane on 51 Eridani b was detected via GPI’s advanced spectrometer, developed by the team at UCLA’s Infrared Laboratory for Astrophysics. The spectrometer unveiled the fact that the planet had a very high concentration of methane, the highest outside the Milky Way, which indicated the similarity between it and our solar system’s planets.
So it seems that 51 Eridani b’s light is too difficult to perceive, as its nearest star is 3 million times brighter.
Professor of physics at Stanford University’s Kavli Institute and leader of the study, Bruce Macintosh, stated that
“many of the exoplanets astronomers have imaged before have atmospheres that look like very cool stars,” whereas “this one looks like a planet.”
It was said that the planet’s mass is approximately twice the mass of Jupiter. Co-author of the study paper, Prof. Michael Fitzgerald, said that up till the present time, the gas planets that had been discovered were 5 to 13 times Jupiter’s mass.
In comparison to other giant gas planets, which have temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, this new Jupiter-like one reaches expressly 800 degrees.
Macintosh finally pointed out that the newly discovered planet’s formation could be similar to Jupiter’s, while that whole solar system could truly resemble ours.
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