Scientists Announce First Viewing of a Planet Birth

Planet Birth  pic

Planet Birth
Image: news.stanford.edu

Amita Vadlamudi, a computer scientist by training, currently focuses her time on exploration of personal interests. Amita Vadlamudi enjoys studying astronomy as well as other sciences.

In mid-November of 2015, scientists announced the birth of a planet. The birth took place 450 light years from Earth in the orbit of star LkCa 15. Orbiting the star is a structure known as a transition disk. Scientists have hypothesized that the transition disk, which contains a collection of dust and other debris, generates planets as a rock or ice core draws solid and gas material to itself.

The new photo evidence of LkCa 15’s planet appears to confirm this theory. Using technology that reduces light from a star so that the fainter planetary light becomes visible, scientists focused on a particularly bright glow within the protoplanet. This glow, according to postdoctoral researcher Kate Follette, occurs as a result of the heating up of hydrogen gas as it collects around the core of the new planet. This evidence indicates that the protoplanet is likely to grow into a gas giant, similar to our solar system’s own Jupiter.

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