NASA Astronomers find Giant Planet Orbiting at an Extreme Distance from Parent Star

Astronomers using the Magellan Telescope are studying HD 106906 b
HD 106906 b is the first exoplanet astronomers have found orbiting at such an extreme distance from its parent star

Planet’s orbit is a little extreme

The Magellan Telescope is truly impressive to view
The giant Magellan Telescope provides astronomers with important data

Astronomy News – Astronomers working with an infrared camera mounted on the Magellan Telescope located in the Atacama Desert in Chile recently detected an exoplanet orbiting its parent star at the greatest distance recorded to date. This massive alien planet, designated HD 106906 b, has a mass at least 11 times larger than Jupiter and circles its parent sun in an orbit 650 times the average orbital distance of Earth from our sun. These facts are making astronomers rethink current theories on planet formation, since no current planet or star formation model explains how these extreme planets can exist.

HD 106906 b is at least 11 times more massive than Jupiter
HD 106906 b is many times more massive than Jupiter

Current planet formation theories don’t explain how it’s possible for huge planets to form at such an extreme distance from their parent sun. Astronomers have suggested such planets could be formed in a process similar to binary star formation. But there are still holes in this idea, although astronomers are excited to find things aren’t quite the way they predicted. They have been studying planet HD 106906 b, because this planet is only 13 million years old and is still hot from the process of formation. This gives astronomers the perfect opportunity to develop a new theory to explain what they see.

Find out more about NASA at http://www.nasa.gov/.

Watch this YouTube video on how astronomers are finding exoplanets here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBDzuyLV_7I.

Can NASA astronomers detect extraterrestrial moons orbiting distant suns? Read this article to find out https://spaceshipearth1.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/searching-for-extraterrestrial-moons/.

Read about the latest discovery in the search for life beyond Earth https://spaceshipearth1.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/the-search-for-life-beyond-earth-takes-a-turn-at-jupiter/.

Read about the latest images of the solar system sent back by the Cassini spacecraft https://spaceshipearth1.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/cassini-spacecraft-show-views-of-the-solar-system-in-natural-color/.

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