A planet that is very massive relative to its star.  It challenges our knowledge of the universe

The planet in question is more than 13 times more massive than Earth, and its star – the cold dwarf LHS 3154 – has a mass nine times less than that of the Sun. Therefore, the ratio of the mass of the planet to the star in this case is about 120 times higher than the ratio of the mass of the Earth to the mass of the Sun.

Stars form from huge clouds of dust and gas. After a star forms, the remaining material forms an orbiting disk, from which planets can form. From what we currently know, the protoplanetary disk around LHS 3154 should not contain enough material to form such a planet. – But she’s there. So we need to review our knowledge again about the formation of planets and stars, says Mahadevan.

LHS 3154b was discovered using the Habitable Zone (HPF) planet finder. It is a spectrometer built in Pennsylvania, and it specializes in searching for planets orbiting the brightest stars known. Using it, scientists search for planets that may contain liquid water. It is difficult to discover such planets around stars similar to the Sun. However, in the case of very cool stars, planets can be closer to their host star and still contain liquid water. The planet’s proximity to the star also makes it easy to detect. The HPF, located at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at the McDonald Observatory in Texas, is one of the best instruments for observing such systems. He has now discovered a system whose existence is difficult to explain on the basis of current theories.

This discovery not only raises questions about planetary formation, as the protoplanetary disk must have contained much more solid material than current models predict, but also about star formation. In the material remaining after the star forms, the dust-to-mass and dust-to-gas ratios will be ten times greater than currently expected. “What we have discovered is a test of all theories regarding planetary formation,” Mahadevan explains.

Pennsylvania / Knowledge Mine
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