Skip to comments.'Super-Jupiter' Discovery Dwarfs Solar System's Largest Planet
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 ...
Some Twinkies will still be around when that planet’s sun has turned to ash...
Holy cow, this planet has 2.5 times the mass of our sun? It’s a whopper alright.
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.
Whoops, yes, that’s correct and makes a lot more sense.