ADVERTISEMENT

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.

Updated
World
1 min read
Artist’s illustration shows how planets could form in a transition disk around a star similar to LkCa 15.  (Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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.

Greyscale image generated from sub-millimeter data, published in Isella et al. 2014.(Photo Courtesy: Stephanie Sallum)
Greyscale image generated from sub-millimeter data, published in Isella et al. 2014.(Photo Courtesy: Stephanie Sallum)

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.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Published: 
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT