University of Central Lancashire | 2020 Jan 22
New astronomy research from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) suggests giant planets could form around small stars much faster than previously thought. ...
Red dwarfs, the most common type of stars in our Galaxy, are small stars, 10% to 50% the size of our Sun. Despite their small mass, they are found to host giant planets up to 10 times bigger than Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System.
The formation mechanism of these big planets remains an unsolved mystery. Giant planets around stars, like our Sun, are thought to have formed by the gradual build-up of dust particles to progressively bigger bodies. However, red dwarfs are tiny when compared to the Sun, and they do not seem to have enough material around them to form such big planets.
The research team used the UK Distributed Research using Advanced Computing (DiRAC) supercomputing facility to simulate the evolution of protoplanetary discs around red dwarf stars. Protoplanetary discs are rotating structures of dense gas and dust found around all newly-born stars. ...
Planet Formation Around M Dwarfs via Disc Instability:
Fragmentation Conditions and Protoplanet Properties ~ Anthony Mercer & Dimitris Stamatellos
- Astronomy & Astrophysics 633:A116 (Jan 2020) DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201936954