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The discovered exoplanet is so massive it shouldn’t exist

The discovered exoplanet is so massive it shouldn’t exist

The exoplanet LHS 3154 b is so massive relative to its star that it shouldn’t exist. The discovery of the system surprised astronomers

December 4
2023
– 9:02 pm

(Updated on 12/5/2023 at 01:40)

A surprising exoplanet has been discovered orbiting the star LHS 3154, 51 light-years from Earth. It’s called LHS 3154 b, and it has 13 magnifications Earth massIts star is nine times less massive than our Sun, and here lies the most interesting feature of the system: Astronomers had never before seen such a massive world orbiting such a small star, nor did they expect it to exist.

Photo: Penn State/CanalTech

LHS 3154 b is an exoplanet with a mass similar to that of Neptune, the solar system’s ice giant. According to the researchers who discovered it, the ratio between its mass and the mass of its star is 100 times greater than the ratio between the mass of the Earth and the Sun.

Such worlds are not easy to detect, because the light from their stars tends to obscure them. To detect them, the researchers used the Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF), a spectrometer created to detect Exoplanets It revolves around cool stars.

Earth and Sun comparison with LHS 3154 (Image: Reproduction/Penn State)

Earth and Sun comparison with LHS 3154 (Image: Reproduction/Penn State)

Photo: ChannelTech

This discovery astonished astronomers, as the system’s properties contradict what current theories of planetary formation describe. “We did not expect such a heavy planet to exist around a low-mass star,” commented Suvrath Mahadevan, co-author of the study.

To understand planetary formation, we must first remember that stars are born from large clouds of gas and dust. after Star formationThe remaining matter organizes itself into a disk around it, which could give rise to new planets.

Interestingly, the disk surrounding the star does not appear to be massive enough to form LHS 3154 b. “But it exists, so we need to reconsider our understanding of how planets and stars form,” he noted.

Thus, the discovery of LHS 3154 b shows that the instrument has the potential to detect various exoplanets in… Our galaxyWhich helps astronomers understand these worlds better. “What we have discovered provides us with an extreme test case for all theories of planetary formation,” Mahadevan concluded.

The article describing the results was published in the journal Sciences.

source: Sciences; via: Pennsylvania state

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