How do planets and planetary systems arise? An image from space can now illuminate the darkness. It is the smallest exoplanet ever photographed.
Texas – These are special images from space: The images from the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Hubble Space Telescope show the latest giant planets outside our solar system – discovered and photographed by humans. It is about exoplanet PDS 70b, which is orbiting the star PDS 70 and appears to be still growing. The records are absolutely amazing because they can provide information about how the giant planet Jupiter formed, for example, billions of years ago in our solar system.
We don’t know much about the formation of giant planets. We now have the opportunity to witness for the first time how matter becomes a planet. Our results open up a new approach to research, “NASA quoted Brendan Bowler of the University of Texas as saying.
Pictures from space: A young planet can provide information on the formation of giant planets
However, the discovery of the PDS 70b planet dates back to the 1990s. At the time, the image of the dwarf star, which is 370 light-years from Earth, was met with special interest from NASA and the European Space Agency. Scientists also discovered a protoplanetary disk through the image. What appears very mysterious is the presence of a disk of gas and dust around a developing star. How exactly a planetary system could form out of this is one of the mysteries of our universe and has yet to be fully clarified.
Then, in 2018, the PDS 70b planet was discovered near the star. This tiny giant planet, which is mainly made of gas, is said to have a mass several times greater than that of Jupiter. The researchers were able to deduce this from the recordings. The Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg announced that the PDS 70b is 22 times farther from its star from Earth than from the sun. In addition, the PDS 70b took 227.5 years to orbit its star, NASA said.
This planetary system is very exciting because we can witness the formation of a planet. It is the smallest planet Hubble has ever directly photographed.
Experts are astonished by the stunning photos of PDS 70b
“This system is very exciting because we can see the formation of a planet. It’s the smallest planet that Hubble has ever directly photographed. At the young age of five million years, the planet was still gathering matter and forming mass,” says Yifan Zhou of the University of Texas.
The new “Hubble” images enabled astrophysicists to discover new details about the planet’s formation. Radiation can be analyzed using the recordings. These estimates allow for how much matter is in the vicinity of the star or exoplanets. From this, in turn, it can be inferred how much an exoplanet has grown or whether moons have formed. “The Hubble records allow us to estimate how quickly the planet gained mass,” says researcher Chu.
The most recent reviews of these recordings were published by the research team in the April issue of The Astronomical Review. Another planet, called PDS 70c, was also discovered in the wonderful planetary system in 2019. NASA managed to find two exoplanets and the planetary system in Animation re-creation. Although about 4,000 exoplanets have already been recorded, only 15 can be photographed directly through the telescope. Recently, a NASA image of an exoplanet indicated a second atmosphere. (Delia Fries) *fr.de is a demo of IPPEN.MEDIA.