Massive Exoplanet, the Size of Jupiter, Could Change How Humanity Explores Universe

By  //  January 19, 2021

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Artistic rendition of the exoplanet WASP-107b and its star, WASP-107. Some of the star’s light streams through the exoplanet’s extended gas layer. (ESA,NASA, Image)

(FOX NEWS) – Scientists have confirmed the existence of a massive “super-puff” exoplanet, one that is as large as Jupiter but 10 times lighter and could change how humanity explores the universe.

The planet, known as WASP-107b, was first found in 2017, but it wasn’t until recently that astronomers were able to confirm its low density, putting it into the “cotton candy” or “super puff” category.

“For WASP-107b, the most plausible scenario is that the planet formed far away from the star, where the gas in the disc is cold enough that gas accretion can occur very quickly,” the study’s lead author, Caroline Piaulet, said in a statement. “The planet was later able to migrate to its current position, either through interactions with the disc or with other planets in the system.”

The study is published in The Astronomical Journal.

WASP-107b orbits the WASP-107 star system, which is 211 light-years from Earth. A light-year, which measures distance in space, is approximately 6 trillion miles.

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