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Forbidden Planet Discovered

Astronomers have come across a planet, called TOI 5205b, that has some surprising characteristics. The planet is about the size of Jupiter, which is the largest planet in our solar system, and is around 280 light years from Earth. The massive planet is orbiting around a dwarf star, which is why astronomers are calling it “forbidden”— TOI 5205b should not be able to survive based on previous astronomical knowledge. The planet’s star is only 40% the size of our sun and burns about 60% as hot. This is the first discovery of a gas giant planet to be found orbiting a dwarf star, and the findings call previous theories on planet formation into question. Astronomers are left stumped by TOI 5205b and are eager to research what it may mean for future planet discoveries.

Image via Katherine Cain / Carnegie Institution for Science

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