Astronomers first photographed the birth of the planet


Actually the proto-planet seems to be part of a whole solar system forming around PDS 70, which is itself a young dwarf star.

This is the absolute first time ever that astronomers managed to capture a snapshot of a baby planet being born - a spectacular achievement made possible with the help of the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. The object of their attention is a still-forming planet that orbits around PDS 70, a young dwarf star. Without this mask, the faint light from the planet would be utterly overwhelmed by the intense brightness of PDS 70. In the image provided by ESO (seen above), the planet is seen as a bright mass to the right of its host star which has been blacked out by a mask that allows the surrounding detail to be seen.

Other notable numbers on PDS 70 b are that it is 22 times further away from its nearest star than Earth is from the Sun, as well as being several times larger and heavier than Jupiter. Spectral analysis of the planet tells researchers that it's a gas giant a few times more massive than Jupiter, with a cloudy atmosphere and a scalding surface temperature of about 1,000° C (1,832° F).

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André Müller, also with the Max Planck institute and leader of the second team, said in a statement that "Keppler's results give us a new window onto the complex and poorly-understood early stages of planetary evolution".

The discovery of PDS 70b is a significant event for astronomers, and subsequent teams of researchers are already following up on the initial research.

Astronomers have attracted the attention of a newborn star surrounded by a disk of gas and dust, and the beard of gas and dust in the disk hinted at the fact that there is actively formed at least one planet.

Once they'd sifted out the starlight, scientists probed the mysterious baby planet.

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The footage is important because, up until this point, scientists largely believed in a dominant theory for planet formation that they were unable to confirm.

Directly imaging the planet is a game-changer. That is necessary for observation, because stars shine shines so brightly that dimmer sources of light - such as starlight reflected from the surface of planets - can not otherwise be observed.

This is incredibly challenging, because even though SPHERE used the coronagraph to block the star, it had to seek out the planet's signal in multiple ways.

An alien world that's just beginning to form was spotted by one of the most powerful planet-hunting telescopes in the world inside the protoplanetary disk of a young star.

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