A team of astronomers led by a U.S. graduate student has discovered a planet that shouldn't be where it is, raising questions about how planetary systems form.
The giant planet orbiting its star at 650 times the average Earth-sun distance if the most distantly orbiting planet found to date around a single, sun-like star, a University of Arizona release said Thursday.
More than 10 times the mass of Jupiter, the planet HD 106906 b is unlike anything in our own Solar System and throws a wrench in planet formation theories, the astronomers said.
"This system is especially fascinating because no model of either planet or star formation fully explains what we see," said researcher leader and UA graduate student Vanessa Bailey.
Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain the unexpected finding, including a mini binary star system.