The Monitor Daily (U.S.) – Planet 2MASS J2126 gave away the largest solar system ever discovered as astronomers noticed that a red dwarf and the lonely alien world were moving across the sky together.
Both planet 2MASS J2126 and its now known to be host star are found approximately 100 billion light years away from Earth. The enormous alien world was discovered a few years ago. At the time, it was supposed that planet 2MASS J2126 was just a rogue alien world. Taking into consideration that the planet orbits the red dwarf at a distance of 600 billion miles, it’s easy to understand how the confusion came about.
Further observations indicated that the rogue planet may in fact be part of the largest solar system ever discovered. The distance between the red dwarf and planet 2MASS J2126 is of approximately 7,000 astronomical units. In other words, it takes the planet about 900,000 years to complete an orbit.
In this never before seen setting, the lonely planet is deemed a gas giant, much like Jupiter. The difference is that compared to the gas giant of our own solar system, planet 2MASS J2126 has 15 times its mass. Lead author on the study, Niall Deacon with the University of Hertfordshire stated:
“The planet is not quite as lonely as we first thought, but it’s certainly in a very long-distance relationship”.
Sweeping through databases of young stars, brown dwarfs and rogue planets, the research team decided to find any potential connections between these seemingly unlinked bodies. The red dwarf, known as TYC 9486-927-1 was a perfect match for planet 2MASS J2126.
Albeit in a long-distance relationship, these two bodies are part of the same large solar system. In fact, planet 2MASS J2126 gave away the largest solar system ever discovered. The red dwarf and the gas giant are between 10 and 45 million years old according to scientists who studied the lithium signature of the red dwarf’s spectrum.
The largest solar system to date comprises the duo moving in perfect tandem, albeit at 7,000 astronomical units distance from each other. The planet’s temperature is approximately 2,730 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yet the gas giant is so far away from its host star that light emitted by the red dwarfs takes about one month to reach planet 2MASS J2126. It takes 8 minutes for sunlight to hit Earth. According to the research team, the planetary system most probably formed in a very different way than ours. This open question implies further research should be conducted on the matter.
However, if you’re looking to find out more on how planet 2MASS J2126 gave away the largest solar system ever discovered, the research paper is published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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