TYC 8998-760-1 b and a companion planet orbit a very young, Sun-like star some 300 light-years away. The star, about the same size as our Sun, is only about 17 million years old – a baby among stars. That means the star's planets formed only recently, and are still so hot that they give off a powerful glow detectable by ground-based telescopes.
Capturing pixels of light directly from exoplanets is extremely difficult because the light from these worlds is overwhelmed by the glare from their stars. TYC 8998-760-1 b joins the thin ranks of such detections. It might be a brown dwarf – a kind of "failed star" – that is considered neither a star nor a planet, but somewhere in between.
Brown dwarfs are mysterious worlds, with many unanswered questions about their properties and appearance. They're too massive to be planets, but not quite massive enough to be stars. TYC 8998-760-1 b is immense, about 14 times the mass, or heft, of our own planet Jupiter, and likely three times as big around. The estimated temperature at its surface is about 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit (1,400 degrees Celsius). This object's extreme girth is unusual for brown dwarfs, and could indicate that its youthful atmosphere is highly inflated. Another possibility, which can't yet be ruled out, is that it's really two objects orbiting each other, these in turn orbiting the star.
In July 2020 a companion planet, TYC 8998-760-1 c, was discovered and the two were directly imaged together.
1.1 x Jupiter