View Full Version : Largest Core in an Extrasolar Planet

2005-Sep-07, 08:14 AM
SUMMARY: Astronomers have found an extrasolar planet that contains the largest core ever seen in a planet. This planet orbits the Sun-like star HD 149026, is roughly the size of Saturn, and takes only 2.87 days to complete its year. The planet was first discovered by the effect of its gravity around its parent star. Astronomers were then fortunate to detect how much it dims the light from the star as it passes in front. From this information, they were able to measure the planet's size, and calculate the size of its core. This discovery adds evidence to the "core accretion" theory of planetary formation, where planets start as balls of rock and ice, and collect a gas envelope around themselves.

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