Astronomers discover the largest solar system in the galaxy


Highlights of history

The planet orbits its star at a distance of a trillion kilometers

This is 7,000 times the size of our orbit around the sun

One orbit takes the planet 900,000 years


A planet that would have floated freely in space is actually in a colossal orbit around a star 1,000 billion kilometers away.

That’s according to a team of astronomers from the UK, US and Australia, which this week revealed that the brightly named planet 2MASS J2126 orbit its 7,000 times the size star. of Earth’s orbit around the sun.

Their conclusions were published in the “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society”.

“It is the largest planetary system found to date and its two limbs have been known for eight years, but no one had made the connection between the objects before,” said lead author Dr Niall Deacon. from the University of Hertfordshire in a statement about the findings.

“The planet is not as lonely as we initially thought, but it is certainly in a very long distance relationship.”

NASA / JPL-Caltech

Artist’s impression of a freely floating planet similar to Jupiter.

Previously, 2MASS J2126 was thought to be a free-floating or “rogue” planet, adrift in the depths of space, unattached to any star.

However, observations of the star and the planet revealed that the two moved together in space and appeared to be associated.

“How such a large planetary system forms and survives remains an open question,” Simon Murphy of the Australian National University said in a statement.

1,000 billion kilometers from its parent star, 2MASS J2126 has the widest orbit of all planets found, one that takes nearly 900,000 years to complete.

While 2MASS J2126 and its star are both 104 light years away from us, we might have our own incredibly distant cousin. orbiting right at the edge of the solar system, according to findings released this month.

01:33 – Source: CNN

A ninth planet discovered?

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have found evidence in the outer solar system of an object that could be a ninth planet to replace decommissioned Pluto.

Nicknamed Planet Nine, it “has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun” than Neptune. This means “it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make a single full orbit around the sun,” according to Caltech.

Observations of the planet weren’t made, scientists instead inferred its existence via the orbits of objects in the Kuiper Belt – the field of icy objects and debris beyond Neptune – all of which point in. the same direction, indicating that they are being pulled by an object.

Mathematical modeling and computer simulation led them to the conclusion that a planet exerted the gravity necessary to shape these orbits.

“There have only been two real planets discovered since ancient times, and it would be a third. It’s a pretty big part of our solar system that’s yet to be discovered, which is pretty exciting, ”said researcher Mike Brown.


Arline J. Mercier