Universe Guide

Are there any exoplanets (extrasolar planets) with rings like Saturn?


The short answer to this question is that we have indeed discovered a planet orbiting another star with a ring. The planet orbiting PDS-110 in the constellation of Orion has been found to have a ring system similar to that of Saturn.

The scientists involved in the discovery had looked at past data as well as current data in order to come to the conclusion. The scientists had noticed the dipped every two and a half years by thirty percent for two to three weeks. Noticible dips took place in Nov 2008 and Jan 2011. The star is slightly bigger but not by much than our Sun. Amateur astronomers would be able to look at the star. Warwick

1SWASP J140747.93-394542.6

A second exoplanet has been found to contain a ring system. The star 1SWASP J140747.93-394542.6 or just J140747 for short is a star to be found in the southern hemispheric constellation of Centaurus. The rings are believed to extend for hundred of times more than the rings on Saturn. They would be something to put Saturns to shame.

The ring system extends to about 0.6 A.U. so about 60% of the distance between the Earth and the Sun. If the rings were in orbit round Saturn rather than some far flung planet then we would be able to see the rings when we look up. An illustration of what Saturn would look like is available on Discover Magazine and not showed on here for possible copyright reasons.

The star, J140747 is a giant star, it is more than 40 times the mass of our biggest planet in the Solar System, Jupiter. It takes ten years to make one complete orbit of its sun. For comparison, Jupiter takes 12 years to complete an orbit.

The star is a young star, a mere 16 Million Years old. To put this in context, the Earth is 4.5 Billion years old. The dinosaurs had already become extinct before the star was born.

The lead scientists for J140747 were M.A. Kenworthy (Leiden University) and E.E. Mamajek (Rochester University). Their paper was written and submitted to ARXIV document library.

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