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Using NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered two gas giant exoplanets orbiting white dwarf stars. This is an unusual finding due to the extreme forces involved.
"If confirmed, these would be the first directly imaged planets that are similar in both age and separation to the giant planets in our own solar system, and they would demonstrate that widely separated giant planets like Jupiter survive stellar evolution," the international team of astronomers writes.
The gas giant exoplanets were spotted thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope's ability to detect incredibly dim and distant objects. The planets are estimated to be one to seven times the mass of Jupiter and have orbits similar to the distances between Saturn and the Sun and Neptune and the Sun.
The findings suggest that gas giants could survive their hot stars collapsing and transforming into white dwarfs, but further confirmation is needed to confirm this hypothesis.