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Artículo 'Monster' planet discovery could change the way scientists understand solar systems News

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'Monster' planet discovery could change the way scientists understand solar systems

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A huge planet orbiting a dwarf star challenges current research on how planets are formed

Anna Freeman

02 Noviembre 2017 16:31

A gigantic ‘monster’ planet has been discovered - and it could undo years of research into how planets form.

The planet, known as NGTS-1b, is the size of Jupiter. But it orbits around a red dwarf star that’s only half the size of our sun.

According to scientists, it was previously unknown that planets could orbit such a small star, and it contradicts previous assumptions about planet formation. Its solar system is 600 light years away from the Earth.

Dr Daniel Bayliss, from the University of Warwick, who led the team of astronomers, said: ‘The discovery of NGTS-1b was a complete surprise to us. Such massive planets were not thought to exist around such small stars.

‘We are already challenging the received wisdom of how planets form. Our challenge is to now find out how common these types of planets are in the galaxy.’

Professor Peter Wheatley, also from the University of Warwick, added: ‘NGTS-1b was difficult to find, despite being a monster of a planet, because its parent star is small and faint.

‘Small stars are actually the most common in the universe, so it is possible that there are many of these giant planets waiting to found.

‘Having worked for almost a decade to develop the NGTS telescope array, it is thrilling to see it picking out new and unexpected types of planets.’

Via Associated Press and The Independent.

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