'Super-Jupiter' discovery dwarfs solar system's largest planet
- Trouble mounts for Sreesanth as Mumbai cops gather more evidence
- SIT to seek Supreme Court guidance on Maya Kodnani death penalty issue
- Tamil Nadu police bans Yasin Malik-linked pro-Eelam public meeting
- Kings XI Punjab end IPL 2013 campaign with a win
- Narendra Modi: India losing sheen as agricultural nation
Astronomers have discovered a new 'super-Jupiter' planet, 13 times bigger 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 the giant planet is larger than Jupiter, it has classified as a "super-Jupiter".
Astrophysicists at the University of Toronto say the object, which could represent the first new observed exoplanet system in almost four years, has a mass at least 13 times that of Jupiter and an orbit somewhat larger than Neptune's.
The host star around which the planet orbits has a mass 2.5 times that of the Sun, making it the highest mass star to ever host a directly observed planet.
"Our team identified a faint object located very close to Kappa Andromedae in January that looks much like other young, massive directly imaged planets but does not look like a star," said researcher Thayne Currie.
"Kappa Andromedae moves fast across the sky so it will appear to change position relative to more distant, background objects," Currie says.
Labelled by the researchers Kappa And b, it could be the first direct rendering of an exoplanet in two years and of a new exoplanet system in almost four years, ending a significant drought in the field.
In a single infrared snapshot, the tiny point of light that is Kappa And b is completely lost amid the overwhelming glare of the host star.
The extraordinary differences in brightness between a star and a planet are a primary reason why only a handful of planets have ever been directly imaged around stars.
"Although astronomers have found over 750 planets around other stars, we actually directly detect light from the atmosphere of only a few of them," said Currie.
- Destitute, orphan students outclass rest in Andhra Class 10 exams
- To re-energise ties, PM wants to visit US, waits for confirmation
- NIA court says no terror link, frees 'Hizbul militant' Liyaqat on bail
- CBI arrests its coal allotments investigator on bribery charge
- ‘Cricketer-bookie Amit may have used Jiju to reach Sree’
- BCCI chief N Srinivasan says police must prove spot-fixing allegations