Exoplanet J1407b has a ring system 200 times larger than Saturn’s

Posted: April 18, 2015 by oldbrew in Astronomy, Astrophysics

Super-sized exoplanet rings [credit: Ron Miller / Astronomy Now]

Super-sized exoplanet rings [credit: Ron Miller / Astronomy Now]

They say ‘the diameter of the ring system is nearly 120 million kilometres’. Imagine the forces in play to keep all that in order. Astronomy Now reports:

Astronomers at the Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands, and the University of Rochester, USA, have discovered that the ring system that they see eclipse the very young Sun-like star J1407 is of enormous proportions, much larger and heavier than the ring system of Saturn. The ring system — the first of its kind to be found outside our Solar System — was discovered in 2012 by a team led by Rochester’s Eric Mamajek.

A new analysis of the data, led by Leiden’s Matthew Kenworthy, shows that the ring system consists of over 30 rings, each of them tens of millions of kilometres in diameter. Furthermore, they found gaps in the rings, which indicate that satellites (“exomoons”) may have formed. The result has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

Read the rest here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    Daily Mail online readers already know most of the story: Saturn on steroids!