Astronomers have discovered a unique planetary system in the constellation Taurus
About 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Taurus is a very strange planetary system CI Tau. Astronomers at Cambridge University have found in it just four huge gas giants, comparable to our Jupiter and Saturn. What is it strange, you ask? The fact is, a very young star system. Its age is estimated to scientists is only about 2 million years. The presence of such a large number of gas giants in such a young system is contrary to all known laws of our cosmos. The scientists shared their discovery in the journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The study was conducted using the system "Atacama large array millimeter wave" (ALMA), situated in the Chilean Atacama desert. Scientists have discovered that the smallest system object is comparable to Saturn, and the largest is 11 times greater than Jupiter. In this case, the orbit of each planet were located very far from each other. The farthest planet in the system is a thousand times farther from the star than the closest to it. According to astronomers, they are faced with such a picture for the first time. For example, Pluto is just 102 times farther from the Sun than Mercury. The orbital period of the largest and nearest star to the planet, which scientists call a "hot Jupiter," is just 9 days. A little further from the first planet is a second, less large, the size of Jupiter, then, after long intervals - two gas giant size of Saturn.
The presence of so many planets of this type does not fit in the cosmological models, according to which the gas giants may not occur near the stars as gravity, radiation and stellar winds hinder the formation of the protoplanetary disk. Still, the researchers note that such objects do occur, though rarely. They were observed in orbit in approximately one percent of all known stars. The catch is that all of these stars have been a hundred times over CI Tau, and the planet met one at a time, and then as many as four!
"models of planet formation, as a rule, are based on the possibility of these types of which have been observed previously. In this regard, the new discoveries do not necessarily correspond to those models, "- commented Professor, University of Cambridge Kate Clark.
"For example, the planets, comparable in size to the Saturn, are formed as follows: the solid core is formed first, and then the gas layer is formed around it" - adds scientist.
According to Clark, usually, these processes are very slow (it is believed that it takes at least 10 million years) because of the large distance from the celestial body to the parent star.
Scientists can not yet explain how the system age of only 2 million years could appear as gas giants, and even "diversity" so far from each other. Possible further follow-up, as well as the discovery of similar systems will shed light on this question.
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