Saturday 22 September, 2018

First image of baby planet being formed captured

(Image: AP: Photo provided by the European Southern Observatory shows the planet visible as a bright point to the right of the centre of the image, which is blacked out to block the blinding light of the central star)

(Image: AP: Photo provided by the European Southern Observatory shows the planet visible as a bright point to the right of the centre of the image, which is blacked out to block the blinding light of the central star)

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

Scientists said on Monday the planet appears as a bright spot in the snapshot taken using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile.

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.

In a paper to be published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, scientists describe the planet, located about 3 billion km (1.86 billion miles) from the star PDS 70, as a gas giant bigger than Jupiter.

They say it has a cloudy atmosphere and a surface temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit).

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