Astronomers have captured the first ever confirmed image of a newborn planet forming around a young dwarf star-an ambitious task that has previously proved elusive to scientists. The picture has been captured by scientists at Max Planck Institute located in Chile and the instrument used is a Very Large Telescope placed in European Southern Observatory.
A scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany, Miriam Kepler, declared that they have detected some clues that baby planets could appear even before the outstanding discovery.
"This is the first time we've been able to see a planet embedded in a gas disk around a young star", Heather Knutson, a professor of planetary science at Caltech in Pasadena, California, told MACH in an email. It is a mask blocking the blinding light of the star in the centre. However, despite years of searching, astronomers have so-far failed to directly image a planet forming within one of these hot and chaotic disks. A second team, involving numerous same astronomers as the discovery team, including Keppler, has in the past months followed up the initial observations to investigate PDS 70's fledgling planetary companion in more detail. The analysis shows that PDS 70b is a giant gas planet with a mass a few times that of Jupiter.
"After more than a decade of enormous efforts to build this high-tech machine, now SPHERE enables us to reap the harvest with the discovery of baby planets!"
The planet's name is PDS 70 b, due to the fact it orbits the star PDS 70.
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Because this planet is a gas giant just like Jupiter is, monitoring its growth could reveal more about how quickly Jupiter formed alongside Earth.
The baby planet has been spotted for the first time on Monday, July 2nd. 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.
André Müller, second team's leader, stated that "Keppler provides results of complicated and vaguely understood primary stages of evolution of planets".
"This glimpse of the dust-shrouded birth of a planet was only possible thanks to the impressive technological capabilities of ESO's SPHERE instrument, which studies exoplanets and discs around nearby stars using a technique known as high-contrast imaging - a challenging feat", ESO writes.
The instrument SPHERE can measure the intensity of brightness at various wavelengths of the planet, which helped the scientists to decide properties of surrounding atmosphere.