Astronomers have for the first time identified a ring of gas and dust surrounding a planet outside our solar system, a discovery that could help reveal how planets and moons formed.
According to the study, a disk surrounds the planet, which is called PDS 70c It is one of two giant gaseous disks of similar size and mass with Jupiter orbiting the star PDS 70Which is about 400 light years from our solar system.
Astronomers have discovered the planet PDS 70c At the European Southern Observatory in 2019 using their Very Large Telescope.
The study, which was published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters, stated that these observations, along with high-resolution images from a telescope ALMA Alma in Chile also allowed them to conclude that the gaseous ring of the planet بال PDS 70c It holds materials that allow moons to form around the planet.
Astronomers have known since 2006 that the star PDS 70 It is surrounded by a very large ring of material, but the limitations of the observational equipment only allowed them to speculate on the possibility of a planet between the star and the gaseous ring..
“Our observations at ALMA were obtained with such remarkable accuracy that we were able to clearly determine that the gaseous disk is associated with the planet, and we are able to determine its size for the first time,” Myriam Benesti, lead author of the study, said in a press release.
Both planets discovered in the system are of great interest to researchers because they belong to a young star system. The age of the star system of PDS 70 About 5.40 million years ago–a young system compared to the Sun, which arose 4.6 billion years ago.
The planet was discovered by Miriam Kepler, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute and co-author of the study PDS 70b in 2018.
In the press release, the scientist said: “More than 4,000 planets have been found outside our solar system so far, but they have all been discovered in mature, not young, systems.“.
and the planets PDS 70b And PDS 70c, which form a system similar to Jupiter and Saturn, are the only two exoplanets detected so far that are still forming.”