Alien planet

Alien planet

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This image is part of the feature Weird New Planets

Credit: LYNETTE COOK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Alien planet. Artwork of a massive planet or brown dwarf orbiting the Sun-like star HD 168443 (not seen), seen from one of its hypothetical moons. The body, HD 168443c (upper right), has a mass between 17 and 40 times that of Jupiter; far too heavy to be a normal planet. Brown dwarfs are objects which form like stars from the accretion of gases, but fail to achieve the mass required to begin nuclear reactions. They may have magnetic fields and some stellar characteristics, however, and a flare is seen on the upper left edge of the brown dwarf here. Three more of the dwarf's moons are seen at upper left, centre and right. HD 168- 443c orbits 430 million kilometres from its star.

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Keywords: alien, alien planetary system, artwork, astronomy, brown dwarf, cosmology, extrasolar, flare, hd 168443c, ice, icy, illustration, moons, ocean, planet, prominence, science, sea, solar system, space, water

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