'Forbidden planet' discovered 280 lightyears away from Earth

The TOI-5205's planetary system's unusual "forbidden planet" is set to reveal deeper secrets of the cosmos and challenge the theories of planet formation.
Kavita Verma

Astronomers recently discovered a planet as massive as our Jupiter orbiting dwarf star called TOI 5205b. Such a sporadic cosmic occurrence led scientists to call the gas giant the “forbidden planet.” Located around 280 lightyears away from Earth, the planet was spotted with the assistance of TESS, or NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. The finding has challenged the long-held idea about the planetary system.   

The study was conducted by a team of researchers consisting of Alan Boss, Johanna Teske, Anjali Piette, and John Chambers, led by Carnegie's Shubham Kanodia

The Small, Red M-dwarfs 

M-dwarfs tend to be much redder and less hot; the particular reason for the circumstance is their dwarf size. The luminosities of these small stars are pretty low, but their life span is comparatively much more prolonged than giant stars like Canopus. These stars often host more planets than massive ones, but researchers were not expecting a dwarf star to host a gas giant.   

“The host star, TOI-5205, is just about four times the size of Jupiter, yet it has somehow managed to form a Jupiter-sized planet, which is quite surprising!” said Kanodia, who has a specialization in the studies of these stars, which comprise almost 3/4 of our galaxy yet are invisible to our naked eye. He also created a blog post about the research. 

Pea Orbiting a Lemon 

The researchers said the scenario was just like a pea orbiting a lemon, whereas, under normal circumstances, at least a grapefruit is required to host a pea.   

While orbiting TOI-5205, the planet almost blocks 7 percent of the light the star is emitting. A huge question mark has been implemented on theories of planet formation after this discovery.      

“TOI-5205b’s existence stretches what we know about the disks in which these planets are born,” Kanodia said. 

“In the beginning, if there isn’t enough rocky material in the disk to form the initial core, then one cannot form a giant gas planet. And at the end, if the disk evaporates before the massive core is formed, one cannot form a giant gas planet. And yet TOI-5205b formed despite these guardrails. Based on our nominal current understanding of planet formation, TOI-5205b should not exist; it is a ‘forbidden’ planet.” 

In the future, researchers plan to deeply observe the planet using the James Webb Space Telescope, which could help detect the atmosphere's presence and unlock secrets of its formation. made scientists

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