A rare, massive planet that orbits a fast-spinning star has caused scientists to rethink current models of stars and solar systems.

The planet HIP 65426b was discovered by a group of astronomers and researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA).

The SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile, managed to capture a direct image of the planet.

“Direct images of exoplanets are still very rare, but they contain a wealth of information about planets such as HIP 65426b,” said Thomas Henning, from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy. “The analysis of the direct light of the planet allows us to constrain the composition of the planet’s atmosphere with great confidence.”

The discovery raises puzzling questions for scientists.

 

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