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A Nearby ‘Planet’ in Formation

12 Feb 2020, 17:02 UTC
A Nearby ‘Planet’ in Formation NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC-Caltech)

330 light years from the Sun is the infant planet 2MASS 1155-7919 b, recently discovered in Gaia data by a team from the Rochester Institute of Technology. It’s a useful world to have in our catalog because we have no newborn massive planet closer to Earth than this one. Circling a star in the Epsilon Chamaeleontis Association, 2MASS 1155-7919 b is thought to be no more than 5 million years old, orbiting its host at roughly 600 times the Earth/Sun distance. A stellar association like Epsilon Chamaeleontis is a loose cluster, with stars that have a common origin but are no longer gravitationally bound as they move in rough proximity through space.

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