Scientists have captured the first images of the birth of the planet

  • Scientists have captured the first images of the birth of the planet

Scientists have captured the first images of the birth of the planet

It is a moment of birth that has previously proved elusive, but astronomers say they now have the first confirmed image of the formation of a planet. By using the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) - one of the most powerful planet-hunting instruments in existence - the global team has made the first robust detection of a young planet, named PDS 70b, cleaving a path through the planet-forming material surrounding the young star. According to Scientists, PDS 70b is bigger than Jupiter and now has a surface temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius. And the planet orbits far away from its parent sun, so PDS 70b won't receive much heat from the star after growing out of its baby stage and cooling down.

A team of 120 worldwide scientists has become the first to capture a clear image of the growth of a baby planet.

"This is the first time we've been able to see a planet embedded in a gas disk around a young star", Heather Knutson, a professor of planetary science at Caltech in Pasadena, California, told MACH in an email. The planet was detected in the gap of this disk.

This is a baby picture of sorts, but PDS 70b isn't especially cute or cuddly. "While discovering how planet formation takes place around other stars, we learn as well about the history of our own solar system".

"The problem is that until now, most of these planet candidates could just have been features in the disc", she said.

They also deduced that it has a cloudy atmosphere.

An expert involved in the study stated that this seems to be the most accurate report as compared to the earlier ones when the captured images didn't clearly convey of them being planets.

It is one of the clearest images ever captured of a young planet in a disc.

"The theoretical provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to test theoretical models of planet formation", said Andre Muller, a member of the research team.

According to the news, the finding would not have been possible without SPHERE instrument, which uses the technology of high contrast imaging. Even when blocking the light from a star with a coronagraph, SPHERE still has to use cleverly devised observing strategies and data processing techniques to filter out the signal of the faint planetary companions around bright young stars at multiple wavelengths and epochs.