Newfound 'companion' object might be giant, alien exoplanet

Astronomers have discovered a "companion" object flying through space.
By Tyler MacDonald | May 09, 2018
Scientists have spotted a "companion" flying through space with two young stars, according to Space.com. Astronomers believe that the object could be a newborn alien planet.

The newfound object was discovered during the study of CS Cha, a 2-million- to 3-million-year-old binary system located approximately 540 light-years away from the Earth.

"We suspect that the companion is surrounded by his own dust disk," said Christian Ginski, lead author of the study. The reason for this belief is the high polarization of the companion's light.

"The tricky part is that the disk blocks a large part of the light, and that is why we can hardly determine the mass of the companion," Ginski added. "So, it could be a brown dwarf but also a super-Jupiter in his toddler years. The classical planet-forming-models can't help us."

Also known as "failed stars," brown dwarfs are bigger than planets but too small in size to support internal fusion, which powers stars.

The team hopes to eventually discover the true nature of the CS Cha using theAtacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a network of radio telescopes located in northern Chile.

The findings were published on the online preprint server arXiv.

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