This is the First Confirmed Picture of a Newborn Planet
05 July, 2018, 20:47
A team led by astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, used the VLT's Planet-spotting sphere instrument to locate and snap a portrait of the cosmic baby. By using the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) - one of the most powerful planet-hunting instruments in existence - the global team has made the first robust detection of a young planet, named PDS 70b, cleaving a path through the planet-forming material surrounding the young star. This tool was created to find exoplanets around stars near the Sun. It is also equipped with a coronograph that masks the light of the observed star and thus reveals its close environment usually masked by its brightness.
This spectacular image from the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope is the first clear image of a planet caught in the very act of formation around the dwarf star PDS 70. This is the rough equivalent to the distance between them Uranus and the sun. The planet stands out clearly in the image, visible as a bright point to the right of the blackened centre.
The planet is called PDS 70b and scientists have determined it is a gas giant with mass several times that of Jupiter. According to Scientists, PDS 70b is bigger than Jupiter and now has a surface temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius.
The SPHERE data have also allowed scientists to study in detail the protoplanetary disk that surrounds PDS 70. SHINE aims to image 600 young nearby stars while DISK targets known, young planetary systems and their circumstellar discs. The PDS 70 disk has a very special structure with a giant hole inside. But they added that they hope to study the planet with different telescopes to learn more about its composition, weather and other properties; so far, they can tell it has a cloudy atmosphere. These results will help refine the search for new exoplanets and better understand the process of their formation.
It's the first time the brand new planet can be seen.
Scientists know that Miriam Kepler, who heads a team on the project at the Max Planck Institute, says that young planets are made in our galaxy, and they have seen the first signs. The scientists employed a coronagraph so as to obstruct the blazing star's light to watch the planet and the disc. Its orbit around its star takes 120 Earth years.
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