This is the first time we've ever seen a newborn planet

This is the first time we've ever seen a newborn planet

This is the first time we've ever seen a newborn planet

Astronomers say they have captured the first confirmed image of a planet forming in the dust swirling around a young star.

That meant that the boffins could get a much clearer look at the never-before-seen stuff that was happening without the light of the nearby star obscuring it.

The discovery was made using the powerful planet-hunting tool called SPHERE, which is part of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope.

The planet is called PDS 70b and scientists have determined it is a gas giant with a mass several times that of Jupiter.

Researchers were able to determine that it's a giant gas planet and has a blisteringly hot surface temperature of 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit.

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

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

A team led by astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, used the VLT's planet-spotting Sphere instrument to locate and snap a portrait of the cosmic baby.

It's carving out a path through the disk around the star, which is in the Centaurus constellation.

The picture took more that four years to make, involved more than 125 scientists, and was published in two studies in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on Monday.

See how a planet is born
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.

Researchers have always been on the hunt for a baby planet, and this is the first confirmed discovery of its kind.

'Keppler's results give us a new window onto the complex and poorly-understood early stages of planetary evolution, ' added André Müller, leader of the second team to investigate the young planet. Using a powerful planet-hunting instrument on the telescope called SPHERE, an global team of scientists was able to study the newborn planet at a crucial point in its development. The planet also has a cloudy atmosphere.

"This discovery shows us that we are finally able to find and study planets at the time of their formation", Thomas Henning, an author on both studies, said in a press release. That's about the distance between Uranus and our Sun.

Directly imaging the planet is a game-changer.

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