Some 60 light-years away from Earth, in the Milky Way's Pictor constellation, lies a giant super-Jupiter that goes by the name of Beta Pictoris b. This particular exoplanet is quite famous — it has been studied extensively, due to its proximity to our planet, and it's actually one of the first planets to be found through direct imaging.
Spotted in 2009, Beta Pictoris b is a behemoth 3,000 times more massive than Earth and weighing about 13 Jupiter masses, the Inquisitr previously reported.
But while astronomers thought this exoplanet was completely unique, it turns out it has a doppelganger with the same mass, brightness, and spectrum, Science Daily reports.
Described in a new study that awaits publication in The Astronomical Journal, this recently discovered doppelganger has been given the name 2MASS 0249 c and seems to be an identical twin of Beta Pictoris b — by all measures, save one.
The two exoplanets are alike in all ways except for how they came to be. And, since they have different origins, they can't actually be considered twins.
"We have found a gas-giant planet that is a virtual twin of a previously known planet, but it looks like the two objects formed in different ways," said study lead author Trent Dupuy, an astronomer at the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii.