Telescope Hubble detected an exoplanet exiled from its solar system in what appears to be a mirror of our own solar system from 13 million years ago. Besides Hubble, the GPI (Gemini Planet Imager) has also been used for analyzing the exiled exoplanet.
Astronomers have studied the planet and its solar system in order to find out what might have kicked the star out of it. The study has been published on November 20 in The Astrophysical Journal.
The solar system is in Crux constellation, located only 300 light years from us. Its star, HD106906 is believed to be very young, having only 13 million years, compared to the age of our sun, of 4.5 billion years.
The recently discovered exoplanet, HD 106906 b weights about 11 times the mass of Jupiter and it’s located 650 AU (average distance between Earth and the sun) from its star. Since usually planets form much closer to their star, scientists are now wondering what brought the planet so far away.
One theory was that the exoplanet formed similar to a star, by condensing gas and dust from its own spinning cloud. This theory was considered less probable after Hubble and the GPI discovered a lopsided comet belt and possibly even a ring around the planet, which points to a normal formation in the proximity of the star. Therefore, the scientists are now looking for some violent event that might have pushed the planet to the suburbs of its solar system.
Using the GPI, astronomers discovered that the star is surrounded by a ring almost the size of Kuiper Belt, the ring of dusty material surrounding our solar system. However, Hubble discovered earlier this year that the ring surrounding HD 106906 was extended much farther and was exceptionally lopsided. This was also confirmed by SPHERE – the planet-finding instrument in Chile.
Scientists argue that this asymmetric state shows an unusual perturbation in the recent history of the solar system. They are now looking for possible explanations.
The Exoplanet Survey GPI is targeting around 600 young stars, less than 100 million years old, in an attempt to understand the way in which solar systems evolve in time and what are the dynamics that finally shape the planetary arrangement we can see in our solar system. The GPI provides images at an extremely high contrast and high resolution and also integral field polarimetry and spectroscopy of exoplanets.
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