Scientists have looked into what is probably a so-called planetary maternity ward, noticing for the first time an enormous disk of high-density gas and dust orbiting around a newly formed star, which is in the process of being born.
According to scientists, this sizeable young planet is currently forming around a start named AB Aurigae, which is around 2.4 times the mass of our sun and is located in the Milky Way, about 520 light-years from Earth. For the record, one light-year is the equivalent to the distance that light travels within one year, so about 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion km).
Researchers have used the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, located in Chile, to notice a spiral structure found within the swirling disk somewhere around AB Aurigae. This was generated by the presence of a planet. Scientists have detected a so-called “twist” pattern made out of dust and gas in the spiral structure where the planet was forming.
Researchers have said that, for a planet to be in its final stage, it takes several million years. The birth of a planet is thus not specifically defined in time. Anthony Boccaletti, the leader of a study published in the academic journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, however, is certain that they can observe the planet, which is currently in the process of transformation.
Over 4,000 planets have already been discovered to orbit stars located far beyond our solar system. Researchers are on the lookout to learn more about the process of forming out of cold gas and dust and how this leads to the creation of new planets.
This newly discovered planet is found at about 30 times further from its star than the distance between or own planet and the sun. It appears to be a large planet from gas.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.