Alien planets

Alien planets

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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 (upper left), seen from one of its hypothetical moons. The ringed 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 right edge of the brown dwarf here. Another moon is seen to its right, and another, smaller, planet (HD 168443b) is seen below and to the left of the star.

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Keywords: alien, alien planetary system, artwork, astronomy, brown dwarf, cosmology, extrasolar, flare, hd 168443b, hd 168443c, illustration, moon, planets, prominence, ringed, science, solar system, space, star, sun

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