WATCHING A NEW WORLD FORM - A FIRST
|Source: European Space Agency|
Creation of a Planet Deep in Space
Astronomers have discovered a new planet being born inside a swirling orange disc surrounding a distant young star. And, the team of international astronomers who discovered it say this is the first time that humanity has witnessed the birth of a planet. They add this discovery will help them to better understand how planets come to exist around stars.
As you can see in the picture, the new planet is forming in the very bright yellow twist in the inner region of the orange, swirling disc that surrounds the young star AV Aurigae. It was spotted by the European Space Agency's European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in northern Chile.
520 Light Years Away
The birth of the new planet is taking place 520 light years from Earth. Lead astronomer Anthony Boccaletti of the Observatoire de Paris in France says the image shows cosmic matter at a gravitational tipping point collapsing and forming a new world. The international team of astronomers are from France, the US, Taiwan and Belgium. The image is the deepest observation of the AB Aurigae system to date.