First Pluto, now this: Discovery of first binary-binary calls solar system formation into question

October 19, 2016 by Rachel Wayne, University of Florida
Credit: University of Florida

Everything we know about the formation of solar systems might be wrong, says University of Florida astronomy professor Jian Ge and his postdoc, Bo Ma. They've discovered the first "binary–binary" – two massive companions around one star in a close binary system, one so-called giant planet and one brown dwarf, or "failed star" The first, called MARVELS-7a, is 12 times the mass of Jupiter, while the second, MARVELS-7b, has 57 times the mass of Jupiter.

Astronomers believe that planets in our solar system formed from a collapsed disk-like gaseous cloud, with our largest planet, Jupiter, buffered from smaller planets by the asteroid belt. In the new binary system, HD 87646, the two giant companions are close to the minimum mass for burning deuterium and hydrogen, meaning that they have accumulated far more dust and gas than what a typical collapsed disk-like gaseous cloud can provide. They were likely formed through another mechanism. The stability of the system despite such massive bodies in close proximity raises new questions about how protoplanetary disks form. The findings, which are now online, will be published in the November issue of the Astronomical Journal.

HD 87646's primary star is 12 percent more massive than our sun, yet is only 22 astronomical units away from its secondary, a star about 10 percent less massive than our sun, roughly the distance between the sun and Uranus in our . An astronomical unit is the mean distance between the center of the Earth and our sun, but in cosmic terms, is a relatively short distance. Within such a short distance, two giant companions are orbiting the primary star at about 0.1 and 1.5 astronomical units away. For such large companion objects to be stable so close together defies our current popular theories on how solar systems form.

The planet-hunting Doppler instrument W.M. Keck Exoplanet Tracker, or KeckET, developed by a team led by Ge at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, is unusual in that it can simultaneously observe dozens of celestial bodies. Ge says this discovery would not have been possible without a multiple-object Doppler measurement capability such as KeckET to search for a large number of stars to discover a very rare system like this one. The survey of HD 87646 occurred in 2006 during the pilot survey of the Multi-object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS) of the SDSS-III program, and Ge led the MARVELS survey from 2008 to 2012. It has taken eight years of follow-up data collection through collaboration with over 30 astronomers at seven other telescopes around the world and careful data analysis, much of which was done by Bo Ma, to confirm what Ge calls a "very bizarre" finding.

The team will continue to analyze data from the MARVELS survey.

Explore further: Giant planet and brown dwarf discovered in a close binary system HD 87646

More information: "Very Low-mass Stellar and Substellar Companions to Solar-like Stars from MARVELS. VI. A Giant Planet and a Brown Dwarf Candidate in a Close Binary System HD 87646," Bo Ma, Jian Ge et al., 2016 November, Astronomical Journal , iopscience.iop.org/article/10. … /0004-6256/152/5/112, Arxiv: arxiv.org/abs/1608.03597

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HannesAlfven
2.2 / 5 (13) Oct 19, 2016
Re: "Everything we know about the formation of solar systems might be wrong"

It's been said before (search on "Planets in Chaos Nature"), but since theorists are not willing to look outside of their monolithic paradigm, the alarm consistently has no effect.
barakn
3.8 / 5 (10) Oct 19, 2016
And yet you are posting your comment on an article about mainstream astrophysicists challenging a formation model. Clearly the monolithic paradigm is yours, about how science works, and your paradigm doesn't fit reality very well.
tblakely1357
3.9 / 5 (7) Oct 19, 2016
If I was an ancient race with fantastic technology, I'd create weird astronomical anomalies across the universe just to jerk around emerging races. :P
Tuxford
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 19, 2016
For such large companion objects to be stable so close together defies our current popular theories on how solar systems form.

Indeed. With so many binary systems otherwise spread relatively far apart, it is simply illogical to conclude that most formed from condensation via the merger maniac model.

Instead, it is more logical that the companions are birthed from the parent in an explosive eruption, and settle into a compatible orbit if we observe them at all. Likely in many cases, they re-devoured by the parent and we never see them. But once in a while, a stable condition results.
Steelwolf
1 / 5 (1) Oct 19, 2016
So ye have a fairly stable 4 body system not in direct alignments, pretty cool actually. Imagine the ET's playing around and joking about "This will mess with their minds (and calculations) for a few millenia

ET Teens Pranks
blazmotronic
2 / 5 (4) Oct 19, 2016
New technology equals new discoveries..Don't you just hate when this happens.....Everything came from nothing..the Earth is flat...and
your a Monkey!
Gigel
5 / 5 (1) Oct 20, 2016
Instead, it is more logical that the companions are birthed from the parent in an explosive eruption, and settle into a compatible orbit if we observe them at all. Likely in many cases, they re-devoured by the parent and we never see them. But once in a while, a stable condition results.

That's an interesting proposal you have. I wonder: if you throw a body high and fast from Earth and it settles into an orbit, then wouldn't that orbit meet Earth back again at its end? Is there a way to shoot a projectile into space without it returning towards Earth or leaving it forever? How could you achieve a stable orbit with just an initial momentum?
Gigel
5 / 5 (1) Oct 20, 2016
Thinking a bit more about it, it is possible to give an initial momentum to a projectile and send it to orbit, without colliding back with the Earth. Both Earth and the projectile will orbit around their initial center of mass. In order to achieve that, the momentum must be large enough that both the projectile and the Earth will move away in opposite directions so that the larger of them (the Earth) will be out of the initial center of mass, i.e. the Earth must move by more than 6400 km. For this the energy expenditure must be quite high.

Applying this to a star several problems arise: would the star survive the initial force/energy burst, and if yes, would the expelled matter coalesce into a new star/body? The expelled matter is warm plasma, probably mostly hydrogen. I would say it would be expelled into all directions forming a nebula, I don't see how it could fly away in just one direction.
Tuxford
1 / 5 (4) Oct 20, 2016
Thanks Gigel for your consideration. Glad that at least a few posters here can actually think, even if they disagree.

Yes, it would be complex situation with things moving about within the expelled nebula, such as planets, etc. So over many such eruptions, statistics would imply that once in a great while, a stable condition would result.

The same statistical logic is applied to the emergence of a new sub-atomic particle from the seemingly nothing. The vast majority of statistical conditions does not permit the birth of the self-sustaining reaction (propagating in the underlying dense diffusive realm) that we label a particle. Most of the time the underlying conditions are sub-critical. But once in a great while in deep space, such a condition emerges and the particle is born into our observable sub-realm.

In the cores of larger stars, this critical emergent condition arises much more frequently.
Gigel
not rated yet Oct 20, 2016
How often does particle emergence arise? And why and how much does it intensify in star cores? Any measurements have been done to show this effect?
Tuxford
1 / 5 (5) Oct 20, 2016
It will take study. But you can start here.

http://starburstf...mulator/

A particle is not actually an object, but a propagating transmutation reaction that is initially 'lit' under the right diffusive conditions of the underlying sub-elementals, whatever that is, and can never be known. So the reaction propagates at a limited speed of light. The faster the propagation, the less transmutation reaction bandwidth is left-over for changes in the reaction particle itself. We notice that as time slowing at faster speeds.

The relative diffusive concentrations of the underlying sub-elementals (etherons) change depending on the local matter density. The more dense local conditions enhance the critical local diffusive condition needed to initiate a new reaction, which then becomes another propagating particle. It is simply statistics. The more critical the local condition, the more likely a new particle emerges into our observable sub-realm.
Gigel
5 / 5 (2) Oct 21, 2016
It will take study.


Please disturb me ONLY when experiments say you are right. Until then, your theory is too radical to be acceptable for a reasonable person. You put a lot of effort into supporting something that may just as well be pure fantasy.
Tuxford
1 / 5 (4) Oct 21, 2016
It will take study.

Please disturb me ONLY when experiments say you are right. Until then, your theory is too radical to be acceptable for a reasonable person. You put a lot of effort into supporting something that may just as well be pure fantasy.

Sorry to disturb your delicate intellectual constitution. But I thought you had asked a question?? Perhaps you are more committed to the method than to actual understanding? This is the trap of the intellectual, having lost sight of the ultimate objective in pursuing pure understanding. Irrationally rational rationality is too restrictive for break-through understanding these days?

How often does particle emergence arise? And why and how much does it intensify in star cores? Any measurements have been done to show this effect?
Gigel
not rated yet Oct 21, 2016
Physics is full of all kinds of theories and most of them are not taken seriously because they haven't been proven experimentally. General Relativity for example is full of tens or hundreds of flavours; I once looked into a GR book that was going through many of them. It's like a theoretical zoo. What to do with them? Well, it is nothing bad in building theories, but in order to claim they are real one has to obtain observational evidence. Since SQK is a (sub)quantum theory, it should be amenble to laboratory experiments. Either that, or it's not real.

Maybe you should stay away from computers. You could never know when something would start growing from within when they are powered up, and then blow up. THAT weird is the "growing from within" theory and maybe you'll understand why it is not reasonable without hard evidence.
Gigel
not rated yet Oct 21, 2016
Btw, in line with SQK there is another theory: Process Physics of Reg Cahill. It's nice, simple and it makes great computer simulations. There's no hard evidence supporting it against current theories and most people don't know about it. I played with it on computer and it is a nice toy, and that's all it is for now. No measured evidence, no proof it is real. I'd say it is the same with SQK.
cantdrive85
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2016
@Tuxford
it is more logical that the companions are birthed from the parent in an explosive eruption

100% impossible.
As anything you push here.

Phails1 again putting his remarkable ignorance on display.

http://phys.org/n...tar.html

100% impossible, in spite of observation that says otherwise.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Oct 22, 2016
Glad that at least a few posters here can actually think, even if they disagree
@tuxford
the problem i have with your comments isn't that i can't think, it's that you can't provide evidence or even a logical connection between your arguments and the observations or evidence you comment on

when there is no evidence involved then the only thing required to refute the claim is simply to state the opposite or state it isn't true or factual

unless you have evidence there is no argument that can validate the claim

therefore what you post is at best "untested claims", but usually just "opinion" which isn't science at all, but speculative and subjective (and if someone wants to argue speculative subjective arguments then the best place would be a philosophy thread, not a science one)
http://www.auburn...ion.html

Gigel
not rated yet Oct 23, 2016
http://phys.org/news/2016-10-hubble-giant-cannonballs-star.html

100% impossible, in spite of observation that says otherwise.

Any stellar-sized cannonball there? Do those cannonballs propel the main star away from the common center of mass? Do the cannonballs end up orbiting the main and forming new stars?
Tuxford
1 / 5 (3) Oct 23, 2016
Clearly Gigel thinks a bit more clearly than Cap! Just a little logic is all that is needed, instead of fantastic merger mania insisted upon by the science police like Physzzy logic. Cap insists that my arguments are not logically connnected. Nonsense.

Say it ain't so Gigel. Cap, time for you to walk the plank!

optical
Oct 23, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Oct 24, 2016
Cap, time for you to walk the plank!
@tux
WTF?
aint a ship captain, though i can understand that a limited knowledge, ignorance and lack of ability to do basic research can lead one to think this if they're in grade school...

if you consider there are captains in the military, civilian para-military operations like law enforcement, EMS or the fire department and a few other places (like team sports) then it makes me wonder about your lack of exposure to the real world and reality in general

then i remember that even prisoners get access to the internet and free courses on how to use it in the US (not everywhere, true, but still widespread enough)

so your answer is even more disturbing with your regurgitated opinion like "Just a little logic is all that is needed" in light of the above

http://www.fireen...kie.html

Gigel
5 / 5 (2) Oct 24, 2016
Say it ain't so Gigel. Cap, time for you to walk the plank!


Sorry, Cap'n is right. You can't push a radical theory without strong, real evidence. What would the Universe come to if matter were appearing all of a sudden in it? This is a radical proposal that can't simply be accepted.

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