A Young Star is House of Four New Planets

A Young Star is House of Four New Planets

A new discovery around a 2 million years old star was made recently. Astronomers found four planets in the protoplanetary disc. One of these objects is 11 times more massive than Jupiter and the smallest one is big as Saturn. The further one is orbiting more than 1,000 times than the closest one, to the baby star.

The first discovery was CI Tau b, in 2016 and is the largest one with a full orbit every 9 days. This was the moment when researchers started digging more around the baby star called CI Tau that is located in the constellation of Taurus.

However, because CI Tau is 500 light years away the latest models of planetary formation do not approve with its existence. It is too hot to be able to form around a host star.

But since these hot objects do exists, the theory of formation is that they formed somewhere farther away from the host star and then moved closer and closer. This is a process that takes hundreds of millions of years. The two outer planets have the mass of Saturn.

These planets left clear gaps in the disc’s dust while orbiting the star and it was used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to find out.

The formation of the 2 million years old star is signaling some red flags for the planetary formation, since it is estimated 10 million years for a gas giant to form.

“It is currently impossible to say whether the extreme planetary architecture seen in CI Tau is common in hot Jupiter systems because the way that these sibling planets were detected – through their effect on the protoplanetary disc – would not work in older systems which no longer have a protoplanetary disc,”  astronomer Cathie Clarke of Cambridge University stated.

“Planet formation models tend to focus on being able to make the types of planets that have been observed already, so new discoveries don’t necessarily fit the models,” Clarke reported.

“Saturn mass planets are supposed to form by first accumulating a solid core and then pulling in a layer of gas on top, but these processes are supposed to be very slow at large distances from the star. Most models will struggle to make planets of this mass at this distance.”

The astronomers need to find out more about these new planets, but it will be easier if they would be able to discover another similar system. They will do further research using X-ray, wavelengths from radio and maybe inverse the planetary formation models.


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