First time ever, scientists record formation of a new planet
New Delhi : The astronomers have managed to spot a location which can be referred to as a planetary maternity ward. The astronomers have observing for the first time a huge disk of dense gas and dust surrounding a newly formed star a planet in the process of being born.
This large young planet is forming around a star called AB Aurigae that is about 2.4 times the mass of the sun and located in our Milky Way galaxy 520 light years from Earth, researchers said on Wednesday.
The scientists spotted the phenomenon with the help of European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope in Chile. They detected a "twist" pattern of gas and dust in the spiral structure marking where the planet was coalescing.
"It takes several million years for a planet to be in its final stage, so birth is not well defined in time. However, we can say that we were likely able to catch a planet in the process of formation," said Observatoire de Paris astronomer Anthony Boccaletti, who led the research published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Till date more than 4000 planets have been located outside our solar system.
The planet is located about 30 times further from its star than Earth's distance from the sun – about the distance of the planet Neptune in our solar system, Boccaletti said. It appears to be a large gas planet, not a rocky planet like Earth or Mars, and may be more massive than our solar system's largest planet Jupiter, Boccaletti added.