Gemini Planet Imager Discovers Young Jupiter Planet 51 Eridani B

Posted: Aug 14 2015, 4:35am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Gemini Planet Imager Discovers Young Jupiter Planet 51 Eridani b
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  • Gemini Planet Imager Discovers New Exoplanet that Resembles Jupiter

The Gemini Planet Imager has discovered a new exoplanet 51 Eridani b. And it resembles Jupiter in its surface features.

Astronomers have been peering out into the far depths of outer space since eons. And they have found stuff that amazes the mind of man by its sheer novelty. A recent find is the 51 Eridani b which resembles Jupiter in an uncanny way.

It is a hundred light years away. This exoplanet may lend astronomers vital clues about how planets get created. This planet is how Jupiter appeared to be billions of years back. Much may be learnt by studying its properties.

As for the star that it orbits around, it's called 51 Eridani. It is over 20 million years old and thus quite a novice on the scene. Our own sun is about 4.5 billion years old. The planet's engulfed in a misty atmosphere of methane gas. And it is two times as big as Jupiter.

The temperature is hot. At 427 degrees centigrade, lead will melt on its surface. According to the experts, they were on the lookout for such a planet. That is when they invented the Gemini Planet Imager.

The formation process was something which will got found out thanks to this device. Its dimensions are those of a mini car. And it's mounted on a telescope in Chile.

It took a team of astronomers to discover 51 Eridani b. The code of the cosmos may get broken thanks to this new finding. Younger stars and their concomitant planets are the focus of the study.

This exoplanet is the youngest on record. Its faint light reaches us with great difficulty. And it has an asteroid belt surrounding it. The dust that gets in the way is a clue that points to this fact.

Erstwhile exoplanets that resembled Jupiter had less quantities of methane in their atmosphere. But this is not the case with 51 Eridani b. Dust and ice co-exist in the stellar and planetary system.

This is a strange coincidence. The search for distant planets and stars is an ongoing and neverending quest. It is a journey that those with the quality of wondering tend to undertake.

Our own spaceship earth ought to be the center of our efforts. But the universe also beckons us onwards to explore it with passion and drive. As the saying goes: that a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what is a heaven for!

A paper with full findings is published in the journal Science.

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