Birth of baby planet captured

The new world is in the process of being formed 520 light years away from Earth

The new world is in the process of being formed 520 light years away from Earth

When these come together in clumps, they're the right ingredients to make a planet. The disc attributes a famous spin that could suggest where a brand-new planet is creating.

"Thousands of exoplanets have been identified so far, but little is known about how they form", said Anthony Boccaletti, lead study author and astronomer at the Observatoire de Paris, Université Paris Sciences et Lettres in France, in a statement.

Although telescopes such as the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) has become very adept at observing planet-forming disks, astronomers had been unable to take sufficiently sharp and deep images of these young discs to find the twist that marks the spot where a baby planet may be coming to existence.

Di Folco said that they hope to conduct further observations, perhaps even capturing the suspected other planets in the system.

Though the dynamics of how planets form are still very poorly understood, the basic accepted mechanism is that planets are produced inside the clouds of gas and dust found around young stars.

The spiral arm forms as the planet moves around the star, bending and shaping the wave. In the image released by ESO, the very bright yellow twist region close to the centre of AB Aurigae lies at about the same distance from the star as Neptune is to the sun.

Explaining the birth of a star The distance between AB Aurigae and the new planet is approximately the same as the distance between Neptune and the Sun - around 4.5 billion kilometres. These initial observations performed a couple of years ago showed two spirals made of gas close to the star with a hint of a protoplanet.

The images of the AB Aurigae star system

Dr Boccaletti and his team of astronomers used VLT's Sphere instrument to take photos of AB Aurigae, which show "a stunning spiral of dust" caused by the baby planet trying to "kick" the gas.

It has been involved in spotting the first image of an extrasolar planet as well as tracking individual stars moving around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.

This helical structure with a twisted shape in the center showed astronomers that a new planet may be in the process of formation.

"These twists must be produced by a baby planet, which we don't see directly, but we see the influence of the planet onto the spiral", said Emmanuel Di Folco, co-author of the paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics and an astronomer at the Astrophysics Laboratory of Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France.

"It corresponds to the connection of two spirals - one winding inwards of the planet's orbit, the opposite increasing outwards - which be a part of on the planet location".

These types of spirals around young stars are indicative of newly forming planets and are created as these planets give the gas a "kick", which in turn creates a disturbance of the swirling disc and forms a wave.

The image was issued by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

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