New Clue To Planet Formation Has Just Been Discovered
There’s an international study that’s led by the Monash School of Physics and Astronomy that discovered the very first observational evidence for the existence of circumplanetary discs.
The study has been published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, and it’s focused on young planets that are still in the process of formation.
“Our research helps us to understand how our 4.6 billion-year-old solar system came about, and how we got here,” said lead study author Dr. Valentin Christiaens.
Newborn giant planet was studied
Experts used the Very Large Telescope facility that’s located in Chile in order to obtain infrared images in various colors of a newborn giant planet.
“We found the first evidence for a disc of gas and dust around it—known as a circumplanetary disc,” said Dr. Christiaens.
He continued and explained that “We think the large moons of Jupiter and other gas giants were born in such a disc, so our work helps to explain how planets in our solar system formed,” he said.
It seems that a newborn planet is much more difficult to observe than the star it orbits. The bright glare from the star reportedly had to be eliminated from the images.
The algorithm that was developed could be used to extract faint signals from more complex datasets. It’s been reported that the observed properties of the moons and of other large moons of the gas giants have suggested that they formed within a circumplanetary disc.
The prediction was supported by complex simulations
This particular prediction has been supported by theoretical calculations and numerical simulations of increasing complexity over the past few decades.
“Despite an intensive search circumplanetary discs have until now eluded detection,” Dr. Christiaens said.
“This first piece of evidence suggests theoretical models of giant planet formation are not far off.”
He also continued and said that the experts’ work just adds one more piece to the massive puzzle of planet formation.
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