Weird Loner Exoplanet Orbits Far From Its Star


Ian O’Neill
Space.com
May 15, 2014

An exoplanet that orbits its star at a whopping distance of 2,000 times the sun-Earth distance — taking 80,000 (Earth) years to complete one orbit — has been discovered. As far as exoplanets go, that’s the most extreme orbit found to date.

Credit: Ron Miller via nasablueshift / Flickr

Credit: Ron Miller via nasablueshift / Flickr

This exo-oddball was found during an observing campaign seeking out new worlds around a group of young stars. GU Psc, a star that is roughly a third of the size of our sun, was recently identified as a member of the AB Doradus group and became a ripe target for this exoplanetary search.

These young AB Doradus stars are around 100 million years old and make attractive targets for exoplanetary searches through direct means. As the stars are so young, any planets in tow will still be hot after recently forming from stellar material. Therefore, by their nature, these worlds are radiating energy into space, illuminated in infrared light.

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