New Gigantic Planet Discovered; What Does It Mean To Earth?

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Space is vast and promotes discoveries every day. Astronomers have now discovered a new planet called GJ 3512b which is nearly 284 trillion km away from Earth and is massive in size. It's so gigantic, that astronomers opine it shouldn't exist at all.

New Gigantic Planet Discovered

 

Scientists have developed theories and ideas about how planets are formed. But GJ 3512b doesn't fit in this category, astronomers said in a published paper. The discovery was made at the Calar Alto, Sierra Nevada and Montsec Astronomical observatories in Spain and the Las Cumbres Observatory in California.

How Big Is Planet GJ 3512b?

The discovery has led to many questions. For one, we can't understand the size of the planet GJ 3512b. It is large when compared to the star (an M-type red dwarf) it orbits around. The size of the star is quite small, roughly one-fifth the size of the Sun and shines and up to 50 times lesser. Further comparisons reveal that Sun weighs roughly 1,047 times more than Solar System's largest planet- Jupiter, while GJ 3512b's star only weighs 270 times more.

Planet GJ 3512b is approximately half the size of Jupiter, but the weird part is it's hardly bigger than the star it is orbiting around. The existing models show that planet GJ 3512b is way too big, leaving the astronomers bewildered. "Around such stars, there should only be planets the size of the Earth or somewhat more massive Super-Earths," says Christoph Mordasini, co-author of the study.

Planet GJ 3512b Questions Core Accretion Model

All these factors show that, technically, planet GJ 3512b shouldn't exist at all. But here we are! In fact, the new planet questions the core accretion model that explains planet formation in our solar system. Lead author of the study, Juan Carlos Morales says: "For the first time, we have accurately characterized an exoplanet that cannot be explained by the core accretion formation model."

 

The new planet may prove a lot of things we believed to not exist. It may also prove the gravitational instability model and how it plays a role in the creation of giant planets. It is a good example of the "disk instability" model, a newer theory which aligns better with the finding.

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