About 57 light years from Earth, astronomers have discovered a large new planet, colored a deep magenta. It’s the second planet whose color has been directly observed by astronomers, the first being HD 189733b. That alone would make this find noteworthy. But equally noteworthy is the fact that the planet itself challenges current theories of planetary formation.
This planet, GJ 504b, is about the size of Jupiter, but has several times its mass. It’s actually so far the smallest planet that’s ever been directly imaged with a telescope, rather than being observed by eclipsing its parent star.