See how a planet is born

See how a planet is born

See how a planet is born

The images that the team captured show the planet as a bright point beside the black filter covering the star at the centre of the image.

To even be able to see the new planet, the telescope had to first block out the bright light of the central star itself.

Astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy used a very large telescope in the Atacama Desert in Chile called the Very Large Telescope (honestly) provided by the European Southern Observatory - the European Space Agency's base in the Southern Hemisphere. PDS 70b appears to be a gas giant, with a larger mass than Jupiter. The Guardian reports that further analyses reveal that the planet seems to have a cloudy atmosphere and a surface temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius.

Miriam Kepler of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany said hints of baby planets have been detected before, but astronomers weren't sure whether those observations might simply be features in the swirling dust.

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The newborn sits within a 5.4 million year old solar system, orbiting a star called PDS 70 at a distance of 1.8 billion miles.

Researchers have long suspected the existence of the planet in orbit around the star PDS 70, but now they have the proof.

Capturing a planet's birth is exceptionally hard because it's often too far away to see on a telescope.

"The problem is that until now, most of these planet candidates could just have been features in the disc".

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The image confirms newborn planets slice through these disks leaving holes and rings in their wake, researchers have said.

'By determining the planet's atmospheric and physical properties, the astronomers are able to test theoretical models of planet formation'.

The discovery by two teams of researchers is detailed in two papers published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on Monday.

"We needed to observe a planet in a young star's disc to really understand the processes behind planet formation", said André Müller, one of the authors of a second study looking at the planet. Now, scientists can see it happening for themselves, thanks to the discovery of this planet and this photograph.

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It's about as far away from its sun as Uranus is from ours.

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