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Astronomers photograph giant exoplanet in unusual large orbit

11 May 2021, 11:34 UTC
Astronomers photograph giant exoplanet in unusual large orbit
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Direct image of the giant exoplanet YSES 2b (marked as “b”). The star in the middle of the bright dots has been hidden to block its light. Image via ESO/ SPHERE/ VLT/ Bohn et al./ Astronomie.nl.
Astronomers have discovered many giant planets, similar to Jupiter or Saturn, orbiting other stars. Some of these – called hot Jupiters – are unlike any planets in our solar system, however, circling much closer to their stars than any of our sun’s planets orbit the sun. Hot Jupiters appear to be quite common, even though none exist in our own solar system. This spring (April, 2021), astronomers at Leiden University announced an opposite planet of sorts, a giant world called YSES 2b, orbiting much farther out from its star than has typically been seen before. The researchers captured a direct image of this planet, something not easy to do. The planet orbits its star a whopping 20 times farther than Jupiter orbits our sun. That’s the equivalent of 110 times the distance from Earth to the sun.
The details of the discovery were published in the peer-reviewed journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on April 19, 2021.
YSES 2b is located 360 light-years away, in the ...

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