Watching a planet’s birth

Thursday, 28 February 2013 17:52
Written by Haluka Maier-Borst

Chilean telescope seems to have found a planet in the midst of formation.

In an unprecedented discovery, group of astrophysicists seems to have found a planet in the process of being formed thanks to the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile’s Paranal Observatory.

The discovered object is about 335 lightyears from earth and close to the young star HD 100546 which has a wide extended disk of material and cosmic dust around itself.

“We knew from earlier research that the disk around this star had a lot of asymmetries in the spectrum of send out light,” said Sascha Quanz, first-author of the new research paper.

Quanz went on to explain that the irregularities around the star were something more interesting than illusions from the disk’s angle.

New research by Quanz’s team revealed that the most likely explanation for these asymmetries is a still-developing planet.