Astronomers from the European Southern Observatory have published their first photo of a newly formed planet. The beautiful image shows the formation of the planet around a dwarf star.
The process was captured around the star PDS 70. What is evident is the formation of a new stellar body - with this being the first image of such.
The new planet itself has been named PDS 70b and it is in orbit around a star which is about 10 million years old, according to scientists. The distance between the new planet and its star is roughly equal to the distance between the Sun and Uranus.
Analysis indicates that PDS 70b is a gas giant that is several times the mass of Jupiter. The surface temperature of the planet is flaming hot, about 1832°F (1000 °C).
In the center of the image you can see a black spot or the so-called coronagraph - a disk designed to block the direct glare from the star. This way, the telescope can take a photo of the area around it.
Judging by the photos, scientists believe that the atmosphere of PDS 70b is covered by clouds, with an enormous cavity in its center.
This first-of-its-kind photo was taken with the SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch) system. It utilizes data processing technology which picks up even the faintest signs of the emergence of new planets.See more