Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory in Chile are observing the formation of a new planet around 520 light years away. Emerging out of the dust and gas are little shapes of spiralling arms that have an object in the shape of a ‘twist’ at its centre. Astronomers predict this twist to be a baby planet,forming and rotating around its star.
The ‘twist’ is evident of a new world which is presently in its formation stage. Images from the Spectro-Polarimetric-High-constrast-Eoplanet Research (SPHERE) demonstrate that the planet is forming somewhere in the spiralling arms and where the twist is located.
Images collected from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope or VLT are promising in contributing to raw data for studying planet formation.
The new planet rotates around AB Aurigae, shaping the surrounding gas and dust into a spiral arm. At the center of this spiral arm is the very bright yellow region or the twist. The phenomenon is occurring at about the same distance from AB Aurigae as Neptune from the sun
“Thousands of exoplanets have been identified so far, but little is known about how they form,” comments lead author of the study Anthony Boccaletti, Université Paris Sciences et Lettres in France. “We need to observe very young systems to really capture the moment when planets form.”