This Planet is Way Too Big for its Star

This artist's illustration shows what the star LHS 3145 might look like from the surface of its planet, LHS 314b. Image Credit: Penn State / Penn State. Creative Commons

Scientists love outliers. Outliers are nature’s way of telling us what its boundaries are and where its limits lie. Rather than being upset when an outlier disrupts their understanding, scientists feed on the curiosity that outliers inspire.

It’s true in the case of a new discovery of a massive planet orbiting a small star. That goes against our understanding of how planets form, meaning our planet-formation model needs an update.

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