New Planet Has Been Spotted Forming – It Has A Disk Of Dust And Gas

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Astronomers have spotted a new young planet forming. It has a disk of gas and dust around it, and it’s similar to the one from which the moons of Jupiter have been born.

The planet has been dubbed PDS 70 b and it’s a gas giant that’s a few times larger compared to Jupiter. It’s in the process of forming as we said above and it’s located at about 370 light-years away in orbit around the dwarf star PDS 70.

“Planets form from disks of gas and dust around newly forming stars, and if a planet is large enough, it can form its own disk as it gathers material in its orbit around the star,” astronomer Andrea Isella, lead author of the paper, said in a statement, as cited by Digital Trends.

She continued and explained that “Jupiter and its moons are a little planetary system within our solar system, for example, and it’s believed Jupiter’s moons formed from a circumplanetary disk when Jupiter was very young.”

The online publication also makes sure to note that circumplanetary disks don’t last for too long. These reportedly disappear within about 10 million years and this means that our Solar System has not seen such a disk in the past 4 billion years.

Experts hunted further afield looking for young stars with planets that are forming around them, in order to study the disks.

Studying the forming of moons and planets 

Digital Trends reports that “The discovery was made using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, a huge array of 66 radio telescopes which work together to detect electromagnetic radiation in the millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths.”

This finding helps experts understand more about the forming of planets and moons.

Isella concluded by saying that “we now finally have the instruments to make direct observations and begin answering questions about how our solar system formed and how other planets might form.”


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