Planet that is about 13 times heavier than our largest planet – Jupiter; Research

Near infrared image of Kappa Andromedae system with the star being covered and Super-Jupiter κ And b visible at the upper left  (Credit: NAOJ / Subaru / J. Carson (College of Charleston) / T. Currie (University Toronto))

Astronomers have found a planet that is nearly 13 times more massive than Jupiter that is the largest planet of our Solar System.

This research is going to be published in the upcoming issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The above false color, near infrared image has been taken by Japan’s Subaru 8-meter telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

The planet is found to be rotating around the star called Kappa Andromedae that is 2.5 times more massive than Sun and is present about 170 light years away from Earth. This planet is referred to as a “super-Jupiter” and is rotating at somewhat wider path than the path of Neptune around the Sun. Its star is younger than our Sun as for comparison kappa Andromedae is about 30 million years old and Sun is 5 billion years old.

According to scientists, this planet is found to be made in the same way as ordinary lower-mass exoplanets do i.e. by merging from a “protoplanetary disk” of material orbiting a nascent star.

From Max Planck Institute for Astronomy,

An interesting aspect of the new Super-Jupiter is that it orbits a fairly young star, and at a distance comparable to planetary orbits within our own Solar System. Taken together, this is a strong indication that the planet formed in a manner similar to that of lower mass planets: within a primordial, “protoplanetary” disk of gas and dusk which surrounded the star during its earliest stages. In recent years, observers and theoreticians have argued that large, massive stars like this are more likely to have large planets than smaller stars such as our Sun. Yet there have also been concerns: massive young stars emit enormous amounts of high-energy radiation. This radiation could dissipate parts of the protoplanetary disk, which would in turn disrupt planet formation.


J. Carson, C. Thalmann, M. Janson, T. Kozakis, M. Bonnefoy, B. Biller, J. Schlieder, T. Currie, M. McElwain, M. Goto, T. Henning, W. Brandner, M. Feldt, R. Kandori, M. Kuzuhara, L. Stevens, P. Wong, K. Gainey, M. Fukagawa, Y. Kuwada, T. Brandt, J. Kwon, L. Abe, S. Egner, C. Grady, O. Guyon, J. Hashimoto, Y. Hayano, M. Hayashi, S. Hayashi, K. Hodapp, M. Ishii, M. Iye, G. Knapp, T. Kudo, N. Kusakabe, T. Matsuo, S. Miyama, J. Morino, A. Moro-Martin, T. Nishimura, T. Pyo, E. Serabyn, H. Suto, R. Suzuki, M. Takami, N. Takato, H. Terada, E. Turner, M. Watanabe, J. Wisniewski, T. Yamada, H. Takami, T. Usuda, M. Tamura, (2012). Direct Imaging Discovery of a `Super-Jupiter’ Around the late B-Type Star Kappa And. Accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters. arXiv:1211.3744 [astro-ph.SR]

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