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'Super-Jupiter' Discovery Dwarfs Solar System's Largest Planet
SPACE.com ^ | 19 November 2012 Time: 12:01 AM ET | SPACE.com Staff

Posted on 11/19/2012 5:27:45 PM PST by BenLurkin

In a rare direct photo of a world beyond Earth, astronomers have spotted a planet 13 times more massive than Jupiter, the largest planet in our own solar system.

The planet orbits a star called Kappa Andromedae that is 2.5 times the mass of the sun and is located 170 light-years away from Earth. As a gas giant larger than Jupiter, it's classified as a "super-Jupiter."

Astronomers say the object's immense size places it right on the edge of the classifications for giant planets and a type of failed star known as a brown dwarf. Its official name is Kappa Andromedae b, or Kappa And b for short, and it likely has a reddish glow, researchers said

The object is an interesting test case for theories of planet formation, scientists say. Based on observations of this system, the super Jupiter appears to have formed in the same way ordinary, lower-mass exoplanets do, by coalescing from a "protoplanetary disk" of material orbiting a nascent star.

That's because its orbit, somewhat wider than the path Neptune takes around our sun, is at a comparable distance to planetary orbits in the solar system. Additionally, its star, Kappa Andromedae, is relatively young, at about 30 million years old (for comparison, the sun is roughly 5 billion years old). These clues point toward a formation story typical of smaller planets.

(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: kappaandromedae; kappaandromedaeb; xplanets

1 posted on 11/19/2012 5:27:50 PM PST by BenLurkin
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2 posted on 11/19/2012 5:28:46 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. ItClimate change! is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin

I say we call it “Chunk”.


3 posted on 11/19/2012 5:34:20 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: BenLurkin

It would be cool to find one of these massive planets with a dozen Earth sized moons with liquid water and thick atmospheres.


4 posted on 11/19/2012 5:38:29 PM PST by albionin
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To: BenLurkin
Astronomy has always made me tired because there are just so many stars and galaxies to keep track of.

There sure are a lot of stars out there. Should we develop a propulsion system that makes intergalactic travel possible in my lifetime, I should like to personally take a tour of all the stars. I'm talking at least a day or so observing the solar system of every single star in every single galaxy in the universe. It would definitely be time consuming but I think it would be a rewarding journey. I shall take back to Earth with me some souvenirs.

5 posted on 11/19/2012 5:39:36 PM PST by SamAdams76
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To: albionin
Photobucket
6 posted on 11/19/2012 5:41:06 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: BenLurkin

That right there is a lot of pixie dust..


7 posted on 11/19/2012 5:43:12 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: SamAdams76
I'm talking at least a day or so observing the solar system of every single star in every single galaxy in the universe. It would definitely be time consuming but I think it would be a rewarding journey.

It's gonna take trillions of days. Somewhere between 200 billion and 400 billion stars in our galaxy alone.
8 posted on 11/19/2012 5:47:36 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: albionin

I imagine the tides would be crazy... might be a good place for a surf resort.


9 posted on 11/19/2012 5:49:39 PM PST by Boogieman
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To: cripplecreek

Awesome! Imagine what the night sky would look like. Bet they would have some huge tides on those moons. I wish I had been born about 500 years in the future when we will probably be able to visit.


10 posted on 11/19/2012 5:54:20 PM PST by albionin
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To: BenLurkin
Wonder if they still have Twinkies.
11 posted on 11/19/2012 5:58:00 PM PST by jaz.357 ( *Luke 6:43-45* Twas Ever Thus!)
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To: cripplecreek
I believe the next class of mass below a brown dwarf is called a green dwarf.

"Green" being an available name.

Can't remember was the temperature range definition is.

12 posted on 11/19/2012 5:59:04 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: Boogieman

Coming to you live from Kappa Andromedae with The Galactic surfing championships. The surf’s up for this final day of competition. Those 400 footers are rolling in.


13 posted on 11/19/2012 6:00:12 PM PST by albionin
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To: albionin

Tides might not be very big at all. I think wide deep oceans are required to build up a tidal rhythm. Kind of like the great lakes don’t have tides.


14 posted on 11/19/2012 6:01:16 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: albionin
Gnarly Dude. The 400 footers are DOPE!
15 posted on 11/19/2012 6:03:33 PM PST by jaz.357 ( *Luke 6:43-45* Twas Ever Thus!)
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To: cripplecreek

Yeah they would probably be tidally locked like our moon. All the water would be collected on the side facing the planet.


16 posted on 11/19/2012 6:10:10 PM PST by albionin
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To: BenLurkin


17 posted on 11/19/2012 6:11:21 PM PST by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...
Thanks BenLurkin.
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

18 posted on 11/19/2012 6:13:03 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: albionin

If you know the Lord, you won’t have to wait that long. And you could look forward to exploring the infinite? universe in a glorified body such as Christ had when He walked out of the tomb on that first Easter morning. I know I’m looking forward to it with great anticipation.


19 posted on 11/19/2012 6:14:00 PM PST by Tucker39
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IT'S GO TIME!

20 posted on 11/19/2012 6:29:41 PM PST by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: jaz.357

Some Twinkies will still be around when that planet’s sun has turned to ash...


21 posted on 11/19/2012 6:30:32 PM PST by mikrofon (1,000,000,000-year Shelf-life)
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To: BenLurkin

Holy cow, this planet has 2.5 times the mass of our sun? It’s a whopper alright.


22 posted on 11/19/2012 7:17:41 PM PST by Yardstick
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To: jaz.357

Don’t know about the Twinkies but the cockroaches will. Them buggers were here before us and they still be here when were gone. Any Twinkies left around and the roaches will be chowing down on ‘em.


23 posted on 11/19/2012 8:37:14 PM PST by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: Yardstick
The *star* it orbits has 2.5 times Msol. I imagine that puts it somewhat like Sirius.
24 posted on 11/20/2012 1:26:44 PM PST by Windcatcher (Obama is a COMMUNIST and the MSM is his armband-wearing propaganda machine.)
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To: Windcatcher

Whoops, yes, that’s correct and makes a lot more sense.


25 posted on 11/20/2012 4:20:38 PM PST by Yardstick
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