Astronomers have discovered the first disk encircling the planet outside solar system…
The impressive circumplanetary disk is about 500 times larger than Rings of saturn and surrounds a Jupiter-like planet called PDS 70c. Scientists have seen many discs surrounding distant stars and previously suspected that moon-forming discs around such planets, but this is the first time such a system has been definitively identified, according to researchers.
“Our work is a clear detection of a disk in which satellites can form,” said Miriam Benisti, lead author of the study, an astronomer at the University of Grenoble and the University of Chile. statement…
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PDS 70c – one of two young gas giants located about 400 light years from Earth. This world and its counterpart, PDS 70b, are still in their early stages of formation and provide a unique exploration opportunity to study planets and moons in their infancy.
“More than 4000 exoplanets have been discovered so far, but they have all been found in mature systems, ”said Miriam Keppler, study co-author and researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, in the same statement. “PDS 70b and PDS 70c, which form a system resembling a Jupiter-Saturn pair, are the only two exoplanets discovered so far that are still in the process of forming.”
Using the large mm / submillimeter matrix Atacama (ALMA), based at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, scientists were able to measure the diameter of the disc to be about the same as the diameter of the disc. distance between land and the sun (1 astronomical unit, or approximately 92 955 807 miles or 149 597 870 kilometers). The researchers also found that the disc contains enough material to form up to three satellites the size of Earth.
Unlike its counterpart, the PDS 70b is diskless. High resolution ALMA observations indicate that the PDS 70b probably lacked disc-forming dust due to the PDS 70c during their early formation.
“These new observations are also extremely important in proving theories of planetary formation that have not been tested until now,” said Carnegie Institution co-author and astronomer Jahan Bae in the same statement.
Scientists suggest that the planets assert in dusty disks around young stars, clearing a path through their orbit and absorbing material in their path. As the planet grows, it can form its own circumplanetary disk, which continues to feed the young planet with gas and dust. Inside this disk, gas and dust particles also collide and can form larger and larger bodies, eventually leading to the birth of moons. However, astronomers have yet to fully understand and witness these processes.
“In short, it is still unclear when, where and how planets and moons form,” Stefano Facchini, an astrophysics researcher at ESO and co-author of the study, said in the same statement. Recent observations from PDS 70b and PDS 70c help shed light on such formation processes.
The researchers hope to be able to visit the pair again with ESO’s extremely large telescope (ELT) currently under construction on Cerro Armazones, the summit of the Chilean Atacama Desert.
“The ELT will be key to this study, because with its much higher resolution, we will be able to map the system in great detail,” – Richard Teague, study co-author and researcher at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and the Smithsonian Institution. …
The study is described in a new study. published July 22 in Astrophysical Journal Letters.
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