For the First Time Researchers Capture the Birth of a Planet
Researchers in Arizona witnessed for the first time, the birth of LkCa1, a new planet that is 450 light years away.
Astronomers have captured the photo of a planet in making – located in a star – 450 light years away from Earth. Researchers at the University of Arizona in the US imaged the picture of the planet residing in a gap in LkCa1’s disk, despite the disk’s considerable distance from Earth and its gaseous, dusty atmosphere.
A report in Nature explained that LkCa15 is a young star with a transition disk around it, which is a birthplace for planets. Protoplanetary disks form around young stars using the debris left over from the star’s formation. Planets then form inside the disk, sweeping up dust and debris as the material falls onto the planets. A gap is then cleared in which planets can reside.
This is the first time that we’ve imaged a planet that we can say is still forming.Steph Sallum, Lead Researcher, Graduate Student at the University of Arizona,
Of the roughly 2,000 known exoplanets – planets that orbit a star other than our Sun – only about 10 have been imaged, and that was long after they had formed, not when they were in the making. Due to atmospheric turbulence, the mixing of hot and cold air, capturing sharp images of distant objects is difficult.
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