A planet caught in the very act of formation around the dwarf star PDS 70. Picture: ESO/AP
A planet caught in the very act of formation around the dwarf star PDS 70. Picture: ESO/AP

New baby planet discovered

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 3 billion kilometres from the star PDS 70, as a gas giant bigger than Jupiter.

 

A young star that is approaching adulthood and surrounded by cosmic dust has provided the backdrop for the birth of a new planet. Picture: European Southern Observatory
A young star that is approaching adulthood and surrounded by cosmic dust has provided the backdrop for the birth of a new planet. Picture: European Southern Observatory

 

They say it has a cloudy atmosphere and a surface temperature of 1000 degrees Celsius.

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

Scientists said Monday 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 weren't 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 three billion kilometres from the star PDS 70, as a gas giant bigger than Jupiter.

They say it has a cloudy atmosphere and a surface temperature of 1000 degrees Celsius.


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