European astronomers have discovered a planet ten times the size of Jupiter, which orbits a star three times the size of the Sun.
The discovery was unveiled in the magazine Nature last week. The team spotted this exoplanet using a telescope from the European Southern Observatory in Chile. The star would be located in the constellation Centauri 318 light years from Earth and would orbit b Centauri, a pair of stars together making ten times the mass of the Sun. Its orbit is about 100 times wider than Jupiter’s orbit around our sun and is about 560 times wider than that of Earth.
“Finding a planet around b Centauri was very exciting, because it completely changes the image of massive stars as hosts on the planet,” said Swedish astronomer Markus Janson, one of the study’s authors. , in interview for the magazine Nature.
“The planet of b Centauri is an alien world in a completely different environment from what we experience here on Earth and in our solar system,” said co-author Gayathri Viswanath, a doctoral student at Stockholm University.
Previously, no planet had been observed orbiting a star whose mass is more than three times that of the Sun.
Some astronomers believed that planets could not exist around such massive and hot stars.