The Youngest Known Planet?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Apr 3, 2008 in Science |

An image from the computer simulation of HL Tau and its surrounding disc shows that a dense clump (top right) forms with a mass of about 8 times that of Jupiter at a distance from the star of about 75 times that from the Earth to the Sun (Illustration: Greaves, Richards, Rice and Muxlow 2008)

It’s amazing to think of what’s out there: This almost (but might not be) planet is 14 times the mass of Jupiter:

Has the youngest known planet been spotted?

“A team of astronomers says it may have spotted the youngest planet ever found, boasting an age of less than 100,000 years old, and perhaps as young as 1600 years old. They say it bolsters a controversial theory that planets form very quickly, like stars – but other astronomers say the massive object may not be a planet at all but a ‘failed’ star, which explains its speedy birth.”

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