Rogue planet settles down in the largest solar system ever discovered

The planet is 7,000 astronomical units (AU) from the star, and it takes 900,000 years to orbit.

Dirk Trudeau | Jan 27, 2016

A massive alien planet circles its host star at an incredible distance of 600 billion miles, making this the largest solar system by distance ever discovered.

A gas-giant exoplanet, 2MASS J2126, was originally thought to be a rogue planet, flying through space without being under the influence of any star's gravitational pull, according to a Space.com report.

But now it appears to be under the influence of a star, and the separation between the two is enormous: the planet is 7,000 astronomical units (AU) from the star, and it takes 900,000 years to orbit. By comparison, the Earth is one AU from the sun on average, or 93 million miles.

Even if you go far to the outer reaches of our solar system, you wouldn't find any planet even close to this planet's distance from its star. Neptun is 30 AU from the sun, and Pluto averages about 40, whereas the mysterious Planet Nine that may be out there would be between 600 to 1,200 AU away.

This planet shatters previous records. Before its discovery, the farthest a planet had been spotted from its star was 2,500 AU.

The planet orbits a red dwaft start called TYC 9486-927-1, and this system is about 104 light-years from Earth. The reason scientists think the planet is in the star's clutches is that they are both moving through space together.

Scientists think the planet has completed a total of 50 orbits at the most in its entire history, as it is believed to be between 10 and 45 million years old. It could also have completed only 11 orbits since it was created ages ago.

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