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We live in one of the rarest planetary systems in the world

Most importantly, the recent research introduces a new mathematical framework for quantifying the similarities of planets in a system with respect to any observable property, such as mass or size. One number shows the general range of values ​​of those characteristics among the planets, and the other number indicates how much these values ​​differ from one planet to another. This framework can help uncover patterns that reveal broad laws governing the birth and growth of planetary systems, as well as where these laws break.

For example, matching the researchers’ model predictions with observations shows that similar planets in similar systems emerge from quiet, low-mass protoplanetary disks, and that more massive disks more easily form larger planets (such as our own Jupiter) that are capable of chaotic interactions to form the other three structures. . The powerful James Webb Space Telescope and other instruments will soon be able to test some of these ideas.

Daniel Fabrici, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago, who was not involved in the latest research, says such future observations make these types of studies especially valuable. He says: “This research is about building a set of concepts that we expect to be able to get interesting results from in the future; Because making predictions and testing them later is scientifically stronger than when we first observe amazing things and then put a theoretical veneer over them.”


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