The unusual formation of a gas giant planet nine times larger than Jupiter, born not from a slow accumulation of material around the core but from the violent implosion of large amounts of gas, has been documented by NASA’s Hubble Telescope and the European Space Agency. (Jesus). The exoplanet, named AB Aurigae b, orbits its parent star at a distance 93 times greater than that between Earth and the Sun: described in Nature Astronomy, provides evidence in support of the protoplanetary disk instability theory, an alternative and lengthy model to explain the formation of Jupiter and its planets similar.
“Nature is intelligent — it can produce planets in many different ways,” comments the study’s first author, Subaru Telescope and Scientific Astrophysicist at Eureka Thane Corey.
An alternative formation process to the primary process of accretion of material around the nucleus has already been hypothesized for some time, due to the fact that outside the solar system there are giant exoplanets orbiting at a great distance from their parent star, where perhaps there are not enough small planets (that is, primordial rocky bodies) to can assemble to form it.
Combining data collected by Hubble with that of the Subaru telescope in Hawaii, the researchers observed the formation of the planet AB Aurigae b, within the disk of gas around a young star called AB Aurigae located 508 light-years away from us. The data collected indicates that giant planets can consist of large amounts of gas that collapse due to gravitational instability.
The study authors also suggest that other planets could orbit AB Aurigae: two would be in the embryonic stage, even beyond AB Aurigae b.
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