‘Marshmallow’ world defies expectations for planets orbiting red dwarf stars


Astronomers have discovered a gas giant planet with the density of a marshmallow orbiting a cool red dwarf star located 580 light-years from Earth. The Jupiter-like exoplanet is the lowest-density world ever observed orbiting a red dwarf.

Red dwarf stars are the smallest and dimmest stars which are still converting hydrogen to helium in their cores through nuclear fusion, a stage of a star’s life that astronomers called the “main sequence.” Although much cooler than the sun, red dwarfs are known to be extremely active and launch powerful flares that can strip the atmospheres of any orbiting planet. 


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