Moon-Forming Disks Found Around Two Exoplanets

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A team of explorers used data collected with the help of the massive Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (also known as ALMA) to explore a distant star system. The data showed that dust grains are present in an area where two exoplanets, PDS 70 c, and PDS 70 b are, in reality, moon-forming disks.

The astronomers noted in a paper that they saw the presence of what appears to be a circumplanetary disk made of dust and gas, which may be similar to the one that led to the appearance of massive planets like Jupiter. The work also explores the elusive nature of PDS 70 c a gas giant which is currently forming at a distance of 370 light-years away from Earth, and whose existence surfaced last month in visible light images.

The 66-antenna ALMA provided millimeter-wave radio signals which showcased the presence of dust particles in the stat system were the pair of planets are currently forming. Most planets tend to form from disks of gas and dust which appear and orbit around a star.

Moon-Forming Disks Found Around Two Exoplanets

It can be said that Jupiter and its moon form a small-scale planetary system within the boundaries of our solar system. It is thought that the moons which surround the planet may have formed from a circumplanetary disk while the gas giant was still in the early stages of formation.

Most models which are available in the present infer that these circumplanetary disks will disappear within 10 million years, inferring that they had disappeared from our solar system more than 4 billion years ago.

PDS 70, the heart of the star system, is a dwarf star with a mass which is smaller than that of the sun. The two planets are up to 10 times larger than Jupiter, and their orbits are quite distant. One of the researchers who contributed to the study stated that the exploration of such planets could offer valuable data about how our solar system formed.

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