A team of U.S. and British astronomers have just discovered what may be a massive planet with rings 200 times the size of Saturn?s.
Move over solar system giants, there?s a new contender in town. Well, maybe it?s not exactly ?in town? in relative terms, but in cosmic terms 430 light years away can still be considered a neighbourly distance. Its name is J1407b, a planet astronomers are excited to add to the 2,000 or so exoplanets discovered so far.
What makes this so-called planet even more exciting to astronomers are its planetary rings, which are 200 times those of Saturn ? hefty bragging rights, indeed. The planet was discovered by accident in 2011 when Mark Pecaut, then a graduate student at the University of Rochester, in New York, was looking at data from the SuperWASP exoplanet search. He was interested in stars, not planets, but the SuperWASP archive…
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