Nov 14, 2017

Daily Mail | Nov 10, 2017 | Huge mystery object at the heart of our galaxy that is 13 TIMES the size of Jupiter baffles experts who have no idea if it is a planet or a star |

Astronomers have discovered a massive alien world circling a star located 22,000 light years away, at the centre of the Milky Way. The object is 13 times the size of Jupiter and is so vast, experts believe it may be a failed brown dwarf star (artist's impression)

  • Experts used Nasa's Spitzer Space Telescope and microlensing to find the object
  • They are unsure if OGLE-2016-BLG-1190Lb, as it is known, is even a planet
  • Its mass puts it at the conventional boundary between planets and brown dwarfs
  • It orbits its yellow dwarf parent star approximately once every three years
Brown dwarfs are thought to be the missing link between planets and stars, with masses up to 80 times that of Jupiter.

But their centres are not hot or dense enough to generate energy through nuclear fusion the way stars do.
OGLE-2016-BLG-1190Lb's mass puts it right at the deuterium burning limit, the conventional boundary between planets and brown dwarfs.

Scientists have found that, for stars roughly the mass of our sun, less than one per cent have a brown dwarf orbiting within three AU.
One AU is the distance between Earth and the sun. This phenomenon is called the 'brown dwarf desert.'
OGLE-2016-BLG-1190Lb orbits its parent star approximately every three years at a distance of about two AU.

The host is a yellow dwarf star, similar to our own Sun, that has 89 per cent of its mass.

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