Scientists Discover Jupiter-Sized Objects in Orion Nebula

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Updated: Oct 03, 2023
Scientists Discover Jupiter-Sized Objects in Orion Nebula

Scientists Discover Jupiter-Sized Objects in Orion Nebula

Scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) have found a pair of Jupiter-sized objects free-floating in the Orion Nebula using the James Webb Space Telescope.

As reported by BBC News, the telescope found about 40 pairs of these objects, which have since been nicknamed Jupiter Mass Binary Objects, or "JuMBOs" for short. The discovery baffled scientists since the “JuMBOs” are neither stars nor planets, and nebulas are typically known for creating stars inside clouds of dust, Aljazeera reports. Additionally, the free-floating objects were created in pairs rather than individually. 

“There’s something wrong with either our understanding of planet formation, star formation – or both,” Samuel Pearson, an ESA scientist who worked on the research, told The New York Times. “They shouldn’t exist.”

One theory surrounding JuMBOs is that they grew in regions of the nebula where the density of material was inadequate to create stars, while another was that they were created around stars and then thrown out into interstellar space through different factors. 

"The ejection hypothesis is the favored one at the moment," Professor Mark McCaughrean, a senior adviser for science and exploration at the ESA, said.

"Gas physics suggests you shouldn't be able to make objects with the mass of Jupiter on their own, and we know single planets can get kicked out from star systems,” he continued. “But how do you kick out pairs of these things together? Right now, we don't have an answer. It's  one for the theoreticians.”

According to a non-peer-reviewed research paper co-authored by McCaugheran, JuMBos are believed to be a million years old and have surface temperatures of approximately 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,800 degrees Fahrenheit).

However, they differ from planets because they cannot hold consistent temperatures since they cool down and freeze. Another difference is that JuMBOs are inhabitable since they mainly consist of gas. 

Photo Courtesy: ©Alexander Andrews/Unsplash

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

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Scientists Discover Jupiter-Sized Objects in Orion Nebula