When imagining what other solar systems are, it is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that our own system is a model that everyone else should follow. This is simply not the case and astronomers know that solar systems come in all shapes and sizes, but even so, the system orbiting the GJ 3512 star is a real wanderer.
GJ 3512 is a tiny star. It is a red dwarf and is only about one eighth of the mass of our own Sun. Usually, stars are much larger than the planets orbiting them, and scientists would expect the world near a star like this to be the size of a pint for comparison. As a new document published in Science Science reveals, this cannot be further from the truth.
Observations of the star reveal that it is in orbit by at least two gas giants, probably similar to our own Jupiter or Saturn. One of the massive planets is about half the mass of Jupiter, but that still makes it a real giant compared to its diminutive star. It is thought that this planet orbits its star once every 21
Gas giants are usually not observed around such small stars, and astronomers are not entirely sure how they formed in the first place. Planets like Jupiter are thought to have started out as rocky cores that accumulate gas and dust, eventually turning into gas-rich spheres.
It is not believed that the gas giants around GJ 3512 were formed in this way. Instead, researchers suggest that gas and debris orbiting the star's orbit long ago may have accumulated over time instead of forming around a rocky center.
In any case, this is an incredibly rare find and gives astronomers a lot to think about when it comes to the evolution of the solar system.