First confirmed photograph of a newborn planet

First confirmed photograph of a newborn planet

This is an amazing image from the SPHERE instrument on the Very Large Telescope. Here is the first clear image of the planet, which is at the beginning of formation around the dwarf star PDS 70. The planet is viewed as a bright point to the right of the center. Black mask is used to block the starlight.

Scientists from the Institute of Astronomy. Max Planck (Germany) received an amazing snapshot of a planetary formation around a young dwarf star PDS 70. To do this, they used the SPHERE device on the Very Large Telescope - one of the most powerful tools for planetary hunting. Also SPHERE allowed to measure the brightness of the planet at different wavelengths, which helped determine the atmospheric properties.

In the new observations, the planet clearly stands out as a bright point to the right of the darkened center of the frame. Located in 3 billion km from the central star (distance Sun-Uranus). The analysis shows that PDS 70b is a gas giant, whose mass is several times higher than that of Jupiter. The surface warms up to 1000 ° C, which is hotter than any planet in our system. The dark central area is caused by a coronagraph - a mask that blocks the starlight and allows you to find a much weaker disk and a planetary satellite. The disks around the stars are the birthplaces of the planets.

Discovery of a planet near PDS 70b is an excellent scientific result that deserves further study. Researchers in recent months continued surveillance to describe in detail the planets. They not only managed to make an impressively clear image, but also to extract the spectrum of the planet. The analysis showed that the atmosphere is cloudy.

The planet with its orbital rotation “dug through” a channel in the circumstellar disk. These spaces have long been known and previously believed that they are caused by the contact of the disk with the planets. Now I managed to see the planet for the first time. The result was made possible by the impressive technological capabilities of SPHERE, which studies exoplanets and disks around nearby stars. It uses high contrast imaging technology. Even when coronagraph blocking starlight, the instrument must use clever observation strategies and data processing techniques to filter out the signal of weak planetary satellites.

Comments (0)