Astronomers just spotted a planet so huge they aren’t even sure it’s really a planet

PHOTO CREDIT: NASA

Even if you have only cursory knowledge of the planets in our Solar System, you know that Earth is on the smaller end of the spectrum in terms of mass. Mercury and Mars are even smaller, but Saturn and the mighty Jupiter, of course, are on the other end of the spectrum. But in the grand scheme of things, Jupiter isn’t actually all that mighty at all, and a new discovery of an absolutely massive planet residing in our galaxy’s “bulge” has scientists struggling to explain how it can even be a planet at all.

The new planet, which was discovered using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, is named OGLE-2016-BLG-1190Lb, but what it lacks in a flashy name it more than makes up for in sheer size. The planet is estimated to be over 13 times the mass of Jupiter, which is so huge that astronomers are considering the possibility that it’s not actually a planet.


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