Scientists have been looking for clear pictures of newborn planets for a long time so they could provide the evidence needed for theories of planetary formation: that planets coalesce in a ring of dust surrounding young stars.

For years, they could not differentiate between planets and other masses in the images and relied on very vague evidence such as “gaps”; these were dark rings in the bright mass of dust surrounding stars that scientists thought were being formed as a planet revolves around the sun and gathered surrounding material to grow.

However, this year they were finally able to take a clear picture which has the potential to reveal much more than they originally thought it could. When pictures were taken of two newborn planets of a star PDS-70, the planets were found to have a surrounding ring of dust which may be an initial stage in the formation of moons.

Most of these observations are recorded by using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) that is a set of four large telescopes placed on a mountaintop in Chile’s Atacama Desert. By viewing these embryonic planets, not only we will have evidence of planetary formation but also the evidence of moon formation.

Read in more detail at:

https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-close-look-at-newborn-planets-reveals-hints-of-infant-moons-20190611/

https://arxiv.org/abs/1905.06370

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