After decades of intensive searching, astronomers have found the first giant planets orbiting around other stars like the Sun. We now know that giant planets similar to Jupiter are not rare in the universe, and exist around a number of stars in the Sun's neighborhood of the galaxy. However, all of these planets are thought to be about as old as the stars around which they orbit, typically billions of years old, like the Sun. These planets are middle-aged, then, as planets go. In order to find out what these planets were like when they were infants, and in particular to learn what processes led to their formation, astronomers need to search for them around much younger stars.
The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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