Baby exoplanet seen growing around star system in stunning photo
Baby exoplanet seen growing around star system in stunning photo
A whole new world? Stunning images of whirling space dust and gases may show birth of a planet
22 May, 2020, 13:59
Astronomers using European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have captured the birth of a planet around a star 520 light-years away.
This spiral structure with a twisted shape in the middle indicated to the astronomers that a new planet may be in the process of forming. It is roughly the same distance from the star as Neptune from the sun.
He embarked on the mission to find a newly forming planet after the first hints of a new planet being born were observed a few years ago with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA).
Images taken by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) are the deepest images of the AB Aurigae star system till date.
As the baby planet rotates around the central star, this wave gets shaped into a spiral arm.
Then, in 2019 and early 2020, Dr. Boccaletti and his colleagues from France, Taiwan, the United States and Belgium used the SPHERE instrument to perform imaging of AB Aurigae in polarized and unpolarized near-infrared light in order to study the morphology of its disk and search for signs of planet formation.
It has been involved in spotting the first image of an extrasolar planet as well as tracking individual stars moving around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.
The new observations provide crucial clues to help scientists better understand the planet-forming process.
The "twist" lies at about the same distance from the star as Neptune from the Sun and is one of these disturbance sites where the astronomers believe a planet is being made.
If astronomers are right, this image is reportedly the first direct evidence of such an incredible event. They confirmed the presence of the spiral arms and also spotted the "twist" feature that points to the presence of planet formation.
The disc around the young AB Aurigae star shows a "twist" marking the spot where a new planet is being formed.
In any case, the VLT see, which was obtained utilizing an instrument called SPHERE (another way to say "Spectro-Polarimetric High-differentiate Exoplanet Research"), includes something else and increasingly itemized: a contort in those winding arms.
Wide-field view of the region of the sky where AB Aurigae is located.
Dr Anthony Boccaletti, who led the examine from the Observatoire de Paris on the PSL University, in France, stated: "Thousands of exoplanets have been identified so far, but little is known about how they form".
Speaking of the twist seen in the images, Anne Dutrey, co-author of the study revealing the astronomers' findings, said: "The twist is expected from some theoretical models of planet formation".
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