Very Large Telescope Captures Baby Planet Birth Image For First Time

05 Juillet, 2018, 20:23 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • The planet known as PDS 70b was discovered by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile and its planet-finding instrument SPHERE

The attention of astronomers was attracted to a newborn star surrounded by a disk of gas and dust.

An global team of scientists has discovered a young planet - only 5 or 6 million years old - making its way through space and possibly moving on the way.Scientists captured a picture, which they say is that the first direct image of the birth of a planet is still being created around a star.

"After decades of speculation, it's nice to actually see one", said Kevin Heng of the University of Bern in Switzerland, who was not involved in the study.

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. The surface of the planet has a temperature of about 1000 ° C and the study of its spectrum reveals the presence of a turbid atmosphere encircling it.

You can find out more about planet PDS 70b here.

The SPHERE instrument also enabled the team to measure the brightness of the planet at different wavelengths, which allowed properties of its atmosphere to be deduced. But for now, we will have to live with the attractive baby picture we see above.

The startling snapshot shows a bright blob - the nascent planet - travelling through the dust and gas surrounding a young star, known as PDS70, thought to be about 370 light years from Earth.

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The mystery of how planets are formed has boggled scientists for centuries, but newly captured photos of a fledgling planet nestled in the rings of a young dwarf star could be about to unlock the secrets of deep space.

"The problem is that until now, most of these planet candidates could just have been features in the disc", she said. This star bud is clearly visible in this image obtained by SPHERE: a luminous point, to the right of the center of the image, where the star is masked by the coronagraph. This is the rough equivalent to the distance between them Uranus and the sun.

He says, 'This discovery provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to test theoretical models of planet formation'.

The planet is 1.864113576*10 miles far from its star and takes 120 years to revolve around the star.

Directly imaging the planet is a game-changer.

PDS 70b is a wee babe of a planet and astronomers believe it is likely still growing. Thomas Henning, director at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and leader of the teams, said in a statement.

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