Young giant planets reach size right from the start

Young giant planets seem to reach their final greetings already in their first million years of evolution. This is what an international team of researchers discovered when measuring the masses of two giant planets orbiting the young sun-like star V1298 Tau.

The basics in brief

  • The findings from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP) should help “gain a more solid idea of ​​the early evolution of planetary systems like ours”.

The planetary system examined around the star “V1298 Tau” is relatively young at 20 million years old. The sun-like star orbited by two giant planets, in 2019 by data From the Kepler space telescope NASA was discovered. The mass of these young giant planets was not previously known.

The researchers determined their mass on the basis of radial velocity measurements from telescopes at La Palma, in southern Spain and on Tenerife, including Stella 2telescope from AIP.

“For many years, theoretical models have indicated that giant planets begin to evolve as larger bodies and then cluster together over hundreds of millions or even billions of years,” explained Victor J. Sanchez-Béjar, co-author of the work. “We now know that they can reach a size comparable to that of the planets in our solar system in a very short time.”

Investigating such young planetary systems provides researchers with information about what happened in our solar system’s childhood days. It remains unclear whether the evolution of V1298 Tau and its planets resembles that of most planets or is an exception.

“If this is the normal case, then this means that the evolution of planets like Jupiter and Saturn was very different from what we think,” explained co-author Nicholas Lodio. So the results help to gain a more solid idea of ​​the early evolution of planetary systems like ours.

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NASA data telescope


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