Mystery ‘king planet’ TRIPLE the size of Jupiter found lurking in nearby Solar System
A HUGE planet outside the Milky Way is being referred to as the new “king” or “empress” of its solar system.
The newly discovered exoplanet is more than 1,250 light-years away and it’s three times the mass of Jupiter.
To put this into perspective, Jupiter is 318 times the mass of Earth.
The newly spotted planet is called Kepler-88 d.
It takes the ‘largest planet in its solar system’ title from Kepler-88 c.
Jupiter is the largest planet in the Milky Way.
What is an exo-planet?
Here's what you need to know…
- An exoplanet is a planet that is located outside of our Solar System and one that is orbitting its own star, like how Earth orbits the Sun
- They are very hard to see with telescopes because they are often hidden by the brightness of their star
- Nasa sent the Kepler space telescope into orbit with the purpose of finding Earth sized exoplanets that might support life
- Over 4,000 exoplanets have been discovered so far and more missions to find even more exoplanets are planned
- A good way to spot an exoplanet is to look for “wobbly” stars because a disruption to star light can indicate that a planet is orbitting it and therefore blocking out light on occasion
- Expoplanets are very common in the Universe and the more we find that look like Earth the closer we get to knowing if we’re not alone out there
Dr. Lauren Weiss, one of the researchers who found the planet, said: “At three times the mass of Jupiter, Kepler-88 d has likely been even more influential in the history of the Kepler-88 system than the so-called King, Kepler-88 c, which is only one Jupiter mass.
“So maybe Kepler-88 d is the new supreme monarch of this planetary empire – the empress.”
Kepler-88 c is said to orbit its star once every four years.
Six years’ worth of data from W. M. Keck Observatory in Maunakea, Hawaii, was used to make the discovery.
The Kepler-88 system which the newly found planet lies in is already famous to astronomers.
This is because the previously discovered Kepler 88-b and Kepler 88-c planets are known for having bizarre and short orbiting patterns.
Kepler 88-d’s discovery will add to the understanding of its star system and how a massive planet affects it.
The research was published in the Astronomical Journal.
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In other space news, the final Supermoon of 2020 will grace the skies this week.
Nasa has a list of 22 asteroids that might hit Earth.
And, the ‘world’s clearest picture of the Moon’s craters‘ has been revealed.
What do you make a the mysterious planet discovery? Let us know in the comments…
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