Gi­ant planet quar­tet

Sky at Night Magazine - - BULLETIN -

Four gas gi­ants were re­cently spot­ted around a star, CI Tau, that is only two mil­lion years old. This is the first time so many plan­ets have been found around such a young star and as­tronomers are strug­gling to ex­plain how they could have formed this quickly.

Ob­ser­va­tions with the Atacama Large Mil­lime­tre/ submillimetre Ar­ray re­vealed that the in­ner­most planet is an ex­am­ple of a hot Jupiter, or­bit­ing 1,000 times closer to the star than the out­er­most one. It’s thought hot Jupiters are forced into their tight or­bits via grav­i­ta­tional in­ter­ac­tions with other worlds in their sys­tems, and so re­searchers will con­tinue study­ing CI Tau to gain clues about how ex­treme planet sys­tems form.­maob­ser­va­

CI Tau’s two outer plan­ets are about the mass of Saturn; its in­ner ones are one and 10 times the mass of Jupiter

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