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Developing planet emerges in a swirl of gas

Dragon
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Developing planet emerges in a swirl of gas Empty Developing planet emerges in a swirl of gas

Post by Dragon Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:53 am

Scientists have spotted what appears to be evidence of a planet forming near a young star. And they’ve got pictures.

The star is AB Aurigae. It’s 520 light-years away in the constellation Auriga. (Auriga is Latin for “the chariot driver,” which the constellation is supposed to depict.) At just 4 million years old, AB Aurigae is about one-thousandth the age of our sun. “It’s really a baby,” Emmanuel Di Folco says. He works at the University of Bordeaux in France. As an astrophysicist, he studies the interactions of mass and energy within the cosmos.

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Developing planet emerges in a swirl of gas 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:55 am

Developing planet emerges in a swirl of gas 052020_lg_baby-planet_feat-1028x579
Credit: A. Boccaletti et al/Astronomy & Astrophysics 2020, ESO

This is a swirl of gas and dust around a young star, AB Aurigae. The image comes from infrared light — wavelengths the eye can’t see. The star is in the center of the image. It has been blocked out to let the surrounding material shine. The gas and dust around it are forming into a planet. The spiral picture was taken by the Very Large Telescope in Chile.

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Developing planet emerges in a swirl of gas 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:56 am

Developing planet emerges in a swirl of gas 052020_lg_baby-planet_inline1_680
Credit: A. Boccaletti et al/Astronomy & Astrophysics 2020, ESO

The star AB Aurigae and gas spiraling around it (left). Close-up of the swirling gas and dust (right) shows extra-bright knot (circled in white). That’s where a planet appears to be forming. For scale, blue circle (bottom, right) represents the size of Neptune’s orbit.

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Developing planet emerges in a swirl of gas 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:56 am



The star AB Aurigae is about 520 light-years away from Earth. It’s in the constellation Auriga. Zooming in close, scientists could see a spiral shape of dust and gas.

An S-shaped region near the spiral’s center is where a new planet appears to be coming together.


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