Giant telescope captures incredible images of a newborn planet

05 Julio, 2018, 20:25 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • 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

Astronomers at the European southern Observatory for the first time in history managed to photograph the planet-the baby born from gas and dust disk surrounding the star PDS 70. But unlike Jupiter, whose temperature is a chilly minus-163 degrees Fahrenheit or so, this planet is far hotter than any planet in our solar system, Meyer said, with a temperature of around 1,340 to 2,420 degrees.

A team of 120 worldwide scientists has become the first to capture a clear image of the growth of a baby planet.

The snapshot shows the formation of a young planet named PDS 70b emerging from the dwarf star PDS 70, proving that not everybody has excellent naming skills.

The dark region at the centre of the image is due to a coronagraph, a mask which blocks the blinding light of the central star and allows astronomers to detect its much fainter disc and planetary companion.

Miriam Kepler of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany said hints of baby planets have been detected before, but astronomers weren't sure whether those observations might simply be features in the swirling dust. Surprisingly, the team also suggests the baby planet itself is surrounded by its own disk of material (called a circumplanetary disk), though this is much more hard to verify. More studies are going on for analysing the circular disc around the baby planet.

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By studying the photos, the researchers were able to conclude that the planet was so new because it was still close to the location of its birthplace, and might have still been finishing its formation.

Humanity has already witnessed and achieved a myriad of unbelievable things in space, but this one is a first: a photo of a planet forming.

Newly discovered planet though very young, but huge: many times more than Jupiter. Thomas Henning, director at the Max Planck Institute and leader of the teams, summarised the scientific adventure: "After more than a decade of enormous efforts to build this hi-tech machine, now Sphere enables us to reap the harvest with the discovery of baby planets".

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

"Keppler's results give us a new window onto the complex and poorly-understood early stages of planetary evolution", comments André Müller, leader of the second team to investigate the young planet.

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