Scientists have discovered a newborn massive planet closer to Earth than any other of similar young age found till date, according to new research published in the Research Notes of the American Astronomical Society.
The team of scientists from Rochester Institute of Technology said that the baby giant planet, dubbed 2MASS 1155-7919 b, is located in the Epsilon Chamaeleontis Association. The study said that the planet lies only about 330 light years from our solar system.
How will this latest discovery help scientists?
The researchers used the data from the Gaia space observatory to make the discovery and they believe that the latest finding will help them to study how gas giants form. Annie Dickson-Vandervelde, who is the lead author and astrophysical sciences and technology Ph.D. student from West Columbia, said: "The dim, cool object we found is very young and only 10 times the mass of Jupiter, which means we are likely looking at an infant planet, perhaps still in the midst of formation."
Why so away from 'parent' star?
"Though lots of other planets have been discovered through the Kepler mission and other missions like it, almost all of those are 'old' planets. This is also only the fourth or fifth example of a giant planet so far from its 'parent' star, and theorists are struggling to explain how they formed or ended up there," the study author added.
The planet orbits a five-million-years-old star, which is about one thousand times younger than the sun, at 600 times the distance of the Earth to the sun. According to the scientists, the journey of the young, giant planet from its young 'parent' star is still a mystery. However, the experts are trying to follow up imaging and spectroscopy to have a better understanding of how massive planets can end up in such wide orbits.