colossal planet a super jupiter was discovered

Outer Space

Published on November 20th, 2012

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Colossal Planet: a “Super-Jupiter” was discovered by astronomers in a system of exoplanets

An international group of astrophysicists has identified a planet 13 times larger than “our” Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.

If Jupiter has a diameter 11 times bigger that Earth and a mass of two and half times greater than the mass of all planets in the Solar System put together, we can only try to imagine the size of the newly discovered planet - a “Super-Jupiter” orbiting a massive star called Kappa Andromedae (see photo).

For over three years had not been discovered any new exoplanetary system  so that is understandable satisfaction astronomers North Americans, Europeans and Asians who have contributed to discovery.

Identified planet - called Kappa and B - has mass at least 13 times larger than Jupiter and an orbit slightly larger than Neptune. It’s so big and bright that it could be observed directly, because light emitted not by indirect methods which usually detects a planet away. So far, only about 6 exoplanets have been discovered in this way.

Star around which it orbits is enormous, with a mass 2.5 times that of the Sun. Of all known stars associated with a planet directly observed, it is the most massive. Star that can be seen with the naked eye, is located in the constellation Andromeda, at 170 light-years away from Earth.

Astronomers found the planet in infra-red images taken with Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, under the SEEDS (Strategic Explorations of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru).

Source: Science Daily

Photo credit:  NAOJ / Subaru / J. Carson (College of Charleston) / T. Currie (Toronto University)

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