Scientists Discover giant planet around very young star Video

In contradiction to the long-standing idea that bigger planets take longer to form, U.S. astronomers today announced the discovery of a huge planet in close orbit about a star so young that it still retains a disk of circumstellar gas and dust.
"For decades, conventional wisdom held that huge Jupiter-mass planets take a minimum of 10 million years to form," said Christopher Johns-Krull, the guide author of a new study about the planet, CI Tau b, that will be published in the Astrophysical Journal. "That's been called into question over the past decade, and a lot of new ideas have been offered, but the bottom line is that we require to identify a number of latest formed planets around young stars if we hope to completely understand planet formation."
CI Tau b is at least eight times bigger than Jupiter and orbits a 2 million-year-old star about 450 light years from Earth in the group Taurus. Johns-Krull and a dozen co-authors from Rice, Lowell Observatory, the University of Texas at Austin, NASA and Northern Arizona University complete the peer-reviewed study offered online this week.
Earth and the sun are extra than 4 billion years old, and while the 3,300-plus list of exoplanets includes some older and a number of younger than Earth, the obstacles to result planets around newly formed stars are varied and intimidating, Johns-Krull said. There are relatively few applicant stars that are young enough, bright enough to sight in sufficient feature with existing telescopes and still retain circumstellar disks of gas and powder from which planets form. Stars so young also are often active, with visual outburst and dimmings, physically powerful magnetic fields and enormous starspots that can create it come into view that planets exist where they do not.
CI Tau b orbits the star CI Tau once each nine days. The planet was establish with the radial velocity way, a planet-hunting method that relies upon slight variations in the velocity of a star to decide the gravitational pull exerted by near planets that are too faint to observe straight with a telescope. The detection resulted from a survey begun in 2004 of 140 candidate stars in the star-forming region Taurus-Auriga.
This result is unique since it demonstrates that a huge planet can form so rapidly that the remnant gas and dust from which the young star shaped, nearby the system in a Frisbee-like disk, is still present," said Lisa Prato of Lowell Observatory, co-leader of the young planet survey & a co-author on the document. "Giant planet configuration in the inner part of this disk, where CI Tau b is situated, will have a deep impact on the region where smaller earthly planets are also potentially forming."
Additional team member were Patrick Hartigan, Naved Mahmud, Wei Chen, Wilson Cauley and Joshua Jones, all of Rice; Christopher Crockett & Brian Skiff of Lowell Observatory; Daniel Jaffe, Jacob McLane &  Gregory Mace of the University of Texas at Austin; and Charles Beichman of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Cauley is at present a postdoctoral canvasser at Wesleyan University, and Crockett now writes for Science News.

The team experiential CI Tau dozens of times from the University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Texas; the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz.; the NASA Infrared Telescope ability and the Keck II telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii; and the Kitt Peak National Observatory's 2.1- and 4-meter telescopes in southern Arizona.

Initial visual radial velocity data from McDonald Observatory long-established that a planet might be there, and the team added photometry measurements from Lowell and 5 years of infrared observations from Hawaii, Kitt Peak and McDonald to rule out the option that the optical signal resulted from starspots or another mask phenomenon.

Johns-Krull said the team has examine about half of the young stars in the Taurus-Auriga survey example, and the data from several of these suggest that extra planets may be found.

"Ours isn't the only group look for planets around young stars, and my expect is that astronomers can discover enough of them to shed light on some of the nagging questions about planet configuration," Johns-Krull said. "For instance, the chocolate dwarf desert,' an unexplained scarcity of objects that are larger than giant planets but smaller than stars. If close up investigation of young stars reveals extra brown dwarfs in session orbits than elsewhere, that could confirm the theory that they tend to combine with their central stars inside a few million years of forming."

1 comment:

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