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HD 100546 b

HD 100546 b: The Mystery Between Planets and Stars

Brown dwarfs, though not precisely classified as planets, often come up in discussions due to their position between planets and stars. One well-known example is HD 100546 b with a radius 6.9 times that of Jupiter.

Let’s Know More About This Exoplanet:

HD 100546 b is a gas giant exoplanet that orbits a B-type star. Although its mass isn’t precisely known, it takes 249.2 years to complete one orbit around its star. It is a distance of 53.0 astronomical units (AU). Its discovery was discovered in 2014.

  • The Mass of HD 100546 b:

Determining the mass of HD 100546 B is challenging because it was detected using direct imaging, giving us only its radius, which is 6.9 times that of Jupiter. Mass calculations rely on a mass-radius relationship that isn’t well-suited for planets much larger than Jupiter. Additionally, this exoplanet orbits a young star, indicating its relative youth in cosmic terms.

  • The Appearance of HD 100546 b:

HD 100546 b is a massive red gas giant with flowy storm bands and white cloud-like features resembling eyes. Its arms are made of gas and dust clouds, appearing less solid than the rest of the planet.

This exoplanet is the largest one known, but there’s a debate about whether it’s truly a planet or just the surrounding gas and dust clouds making it look bigger. It could shrink to the size of Jupiter as it cools down.

HD 100546 b Vs Jupiter:

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, but it’s only 11 times bigger than Venus. Binary systems are groups of stars bound together by gravity. Jupiter is the closest planet to the Sun, but its orbit is 100 times wider than that of Mercury. B Centauri (AB)b, a massive gas giant like Jupiter, was discovered in a photo taken by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile.


Planets form when materials come together in dusty and gassy disks around young stars. Massive stars emit a lot of high-energy radiation, which can evaporate nearby materials. This planet is located about 325 light-years away in the Centauri constellation. It’s similar in composition to Jupiter but even more massive, falling into the super-Jupiter class, roughly the size of the largest planet in our solar system.

Orbit Around Sun:

Its orbit around the Sun is about 100 times wider than Jupiter’s and a staggering 560 times wider than Earth’s. The two stars in the b Centauri system are six to ten times more massive than the Sun. Super-Jupiter like this planet, HD 100546 b are less dense than other major mass classes in our galaxy, estimated at around 46 billion of them. This suggests they make up a significant portion of the universe, accounting for about 56% of the estimated 820 billion planets.

The question of whether a “super-Jupiter” would be larger than the Sun doesn’t have a clear-cut answer because there’s no universally agreed-upon definition for a “super-Jupiter.” Different astronomers might define it in various ways. Some could say it’s a gas giant with more mass than Jupiter, while others might set the bar at being more than 10 times Jupiter’s mass. In our solar system, there’s no object meeting either of these definitions, so we can’t definitively state whether a super-Jupiter would be larger than the Sun.

The Comparison of “Super Jupiter” To Other Planets in Our Solar System:

Super-Jupiter is one of the hottest planets in our solar system, covered in gas and dust clouds due to its scorching temperatures of up to 7,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now, let’s compare the temperatures on other planets:

  • Jupiter is cold at minus 166 degrees Fahrenheit (-110 degrees Celsius).
  • Saturn is even colder at minus 220 degrees Fahrenheit (-140 degrees Celsius).
  • Uranus and Neptune are the coldest, with temperatures dropping to minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit (-195 degrees Celsius)  So, if you were on Uranus, you’d feel very cold, while Neptune would be incredibly hot in comparison.

Is HD 100546 B real?

HD 100546 b is a gas giant exoplanet orbiting a B-type star. Its exact mass is uncertain, and it takes 249.2 years to complete one orbit around its star, residing at a distance of 53.0 astronomical units (AU) from its star.

Why is HD 100546 b, not a star?

The most probable explanation is that HD 100546 b is in the process of forming as a planet. As of November 2, 2014, it has been officially confirmed as a planet.

How big is this exoplanet compared to Jupiter?

HD 100546 b is one of the largest known brown dwarfs, with a radius 6.9 times that of Jupiter.

How far is this exoplanet from its star?

HD 100546 b is an exoplanet classified as a gas giant, and it revolves around a B-type star. Its exact mass remains uncertain, and it takes approximately 249.2 years to complete one orbit around its star. This exoplanet is situated at a distance of 53.0 astronomical units (AU) from its host star.

How old is HD 100546?

HD 100546 b belongs to the Herbig Ae/Be star category. It is to be around 10 million years old, stands out as the closest known example of such a star system to our own Solar System.

Is Jupiter A star That Failed?

Jupiter is often referred to as a “failed star”. Because while it primarily consists of hydrogen like typical stars. It lacks the necessary mass to trigger thermonuclear reactions in its core. Thus, it is preventing it from becoming a true star.

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