The discovery of a new exoplanet helps to better understand planetary formation

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An international team of scientists has discovered an exoplanet the size of Jupiter orbiting a low-mass star called TOI-4860located in the constellation of Corvus, a finding that serves to delve into the understanding of theplanetary formation.

The newly identified gas giant, named TOI-4860 bis an unusual planet for Two reasons: such low-mass stars are not expected to host Jupiter-like planets and the exoplanet appears to be particularly enriched in heavy elements.

The study, led by astronomers from the University of Birmingham, is published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Confirmation of the planet, which was initially identified by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), involved several observatories: the Observatory Sur SPECULOOSlocated in the Atacama desert (Chile), and the telescope Subaru de Hawai.

The monitoring of this star and the confirmation of its planet was the initiative of a group of PhD students from the SPECULOOS project. George Dransfieldone of those PhD students, who has just presented his thesis in Birmingham, explains that according to the canonical model of planet formation, the less mass has a star less massive is the disk of material that surrounds it.

“Since planets form from that disk, it was expected that high-mass planets, such as Jupiter, would they will not form. However, we were curious about it and wanted to check the planet candidates to see if it was possible,” she says.

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