Wednesday, 11 December 2019 | 07:54 WIB

Scientists Unveil Four Hot Planets Orbiting ’Toddler’ Star

Illustration of a Hot planet illustration near Jupiter

JAKARTA, NNC - Researchers have found a strange young "toddler" star with four massive planets in orbit around it.This is the first time that a plethora of gigantic planets are found in a young star system.

The star at the center of this system, CI Tau, is only two million years old and is encircled by a protoplanetary disk consisting of dust and ice.

Scientists already knew about this system as they had found a hot Jupiter, a gas-giant exoplanet orbiting close to their star, around CT. It was the first hot Jupiter found around young star.

It has prompted astronomers at Cambridge University to use the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA) to see if the planet had siblings.

According to study author Cathie Clarke of the Cambridge University Institute of Astronomy, her team unveiled a “big structures in the disk that we interpret as planets, the Astronomy page wrote Wednesday, Oct 17.

Basically, the team discovered three gaps (besides hot Jupiter) in the CI Tau's disk which were most likely caused by three massive gas planets. It makes a total of up to four Jupiter heat around the star.

The team hopes to detect the planets themselves, not just holes in the discs that they interpret as planets, Clarke said.

Researchers also want to explore how the strange solar system is formed. This is admittedly very difficult to do with the current theory.

“Planet formation models tend to focus on being able to make the types of planets that have been observed already, so new discoveries don’t necessarily fit the models,” Clarke said.