Tuesday 17 July 2018

Astronomers reveal image of baby planet being formed

The planet appears as a bright spot in a snapshot taken using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope.

The first clear image of a planet caught in the act of formation (ESO via AP)
The first clear image of a planet caught in the act of formation (ESO via AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Astronomers say they have captured the first confirmed image of a planet forming in the dust swirling around a young star.

Scientists said the planet appears as a bright spot in the snapshot taken using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile.

Miriam Kepler of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany said hints of baby planets have been detected before, but astronomers were not sure whether those observations might simply be features in the swirling dust.

In a paper to be published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, scientists describe the planet, located about 1.86 billion miles from the star PDS 70, as a gas giant bigger than Jupiter.

They say it has a cloudy atmosphere and a surface temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius.

Press Association

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