Planet-X Wanders Through & Caught On Telescope?
- uploaded: Mar 5, 2011
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HIP 13044 b is a Jupiter-like extrasolar planet orbiting the star HIP 13044, about 2,000 light years away from the Earth in the constellation Fornax. Its discovery was announced on November 18, 2010. According to evolutionary theories, HIP 13044 was born in another galaxy, and became part of the Milky Way when the star's parent galaxy was absorbed by our own around 6-9 billion years ago, the remnants of the galaxy forming the Helmi stream.
The study that led to the discovery of the planet was performed by a team from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy. Rainer Klement of the Max Planck Institute said that the discovery is exciting for astronomers because it is the first time that a planetary system has been discovered in a stellar stream of extragalactic origin.
The planet was discovered using the MPG/ESO 2.2-m ground-based telescope at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile, using the radial velocity method which involves detecting small wobbles in a star caused by a planet as it tugs on it.
The discovery of the planet may also suggest the need for rethinking issues in planet formation and survival, since it is the first planet ever discovered to be circling a star that is both very old and extremely metal-poor. The planet thus challenges the core-accretion model of planet formation, given that it may be unlikely a planetary core of sufficient mass was formed, and may signify it was formed via the competing disk instability model of planet formation.