The Hubble Space Telescope
Has spotted a young Jupiter-like protoplanet that’s supporting an unusual planetary formation theory.
Protoplanet AB Aurigae B
A young gas giant located some 531 light-years away from our sun that’s estimated to be about 2 million years old.
Scientists Know That
Gaseous and rocky planets form from material gathered around a star in what’s called a circumstellar disk.
But AB Aurigae b Seems To Be
Bucking long-held theories about the mechanics of planetary formation due to its size and location.
According To The Researchers
It seems to support an unusual planetary formation theory known as "disk instability" — one that’s been described as "intense and violent."
AB Aurigae b Orbits
Its star at a distance of 8.6 billion miles, which is more than twice as far as Pluto is from our sun.
Given That Distance
Scientists would expect it to take an extremely long time to form. But the protoplanet is already nine times more massive than Jupiter is, and at a very young age.
Scientists Believe That
This is only possible through a different method called the "disk instability" approach.