The planet orbits a five million-year-old star, which is a thousand times younger than our own sun. But, unusually, it’s very distant from the star, orbiting at 600 times the distance from the Earth to the sun.
“The dim, cool object we found is very young and only 10 times the mass of Jupiter, which means we are likely looking at an infant planet, perhaps still in the midst of formation,” said Annie Dickson-Vandervelde, lead study author and astrophysical sciences and technology Ph.D. student at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Future observations could tell scientists how the planet ended up at such a distance from its star. This could provide greater insight about wide orbits of massive planets. But the discovery itself helps astronomers study the process of gas giant formation.
“Though lots of other planets have been discovered through the Kepler mission and other missions like it, almost all of those are ‘old’ planets,” Dickson-Vandervelde said.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction