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Isn't she pretty in pink: NASA discovers a new planet

Newly discovered GJ 504b may have a lot to tell scientists about the formation of Jupiter-like planets.

Newly discovered pink planet, GJ 504b. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Wiessinger/Courtesy

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center recently discovered the existence of a new planet about 57 light years away from Earth. Known as GJ 504b, the planet is about the size of Jupiter—although several times its mass—and is the smallest planet ever to be directly imaged by a telescope. Not to mention it also happens to be colored a deep magenta, a sign of its relative planetary youth.

Yet its unique hue is not the primary reason astronomers are so puzzled by this planet. GJ 504b’s distance from its star—which is about 44 times the distance between Earth and the Sun—and its massive size are inconsistent with current planetary formation theories.

Core accretion theory, which models the formation of Jupiter-like planets such as GJ 504b, states that the gravitational force created by mass collisions of debris in space attracts gas-rich particles, eventually leading to a large planetary formation.

However, GJ 504b is well outside of the threshold in which Jupiter-like planets typically form, in a region where the density of debris is not thought to be significant enough to create a planet. Many astronomers are now worried that the basic assumptions of core accretion theory may require reexamination.

Whether or not the discovery of GJ 504b leads to new and revolutionary astronomical theories is a question for the astrophysicists. For the rest of us, this pretty pink planet is just another reminder of the infinite awesomeness of the universe.

Steve Dufour More than 1 year ago
The 57 light years must be wrong. That would put it way out there, beyond lots of other stars.
Mark Dingse More than 1 year ago
Misty More than 1 year ago
what a beautiful planet I look at your web site everyday looking forward to more of the journey of our stars and beyond our planets
Melody99030 More than 1 year ago
It also could be a fast approaching sun. White, blue and red = pink. Red for either to small sun to ignite or dying sun. Blue for a doppler shift, meaning; its approaching fast. Being only discovered, it was not observed for very long time to be certain that it's staying put in same location (roughly 44 times the distance of Earth from the Sun).
Stephe Thornton More than 1 year ago
Wow... looking forward to seeing what else they can find out about this one.
ColonialDagger More than 1 year ago
No NASA, the planet's name is Eve.
Prince Nail More than 1 year ago
beautiful planet
Leonardo Martinelli Lopes More than 1 year ago
Pretty interesting thing,almost every planet are different from other,Jupiter is one of my favorite,by his super storms tht make a very interesting and beauty effect seen from space.
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