Astronomers catch sight of planet in making around young star in neighborhood of Taurus
For the first time ever, astronomers have noted a planet taking shape out of microscopic dust particles present 450 light years away from Earth. They have directly seen the primordial process that changes huge clouds of cosmic dust into newborn planets over millions of years for the first time.
They have observed a planet in forming surrounding a young star in the neighborhood of Taurus 450 light years far from the planet Earth.
For the scientists who have never had a real star system before, against which they can test theories of how the universe was dotted with different worlds, the discovery has come as a boon.
Stephanie Sallum, a graduate student at the University of Arizona, said this was their first opportunity to see the planet formation process happening.
Sallum added that they could go and observe this to conduct detailed studies now, and try to understand the building of planets. Though about 1,900 alien worlds have been detected outside our solar system, none of them are still building.
Thus, scientists have no forming planets to observe, and are left with comparing their models for how the birth of planets takes place with the end results, like entirely mature rocky worlds and gas giants.
That leaves a huge gap in the understanding of astronomers. The new ideas about the formation of planets place broad margins on the time taken by the process, ranging from one to 10 million years. It is not clear what exactly happens between the start and finish.
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