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2018-07-02. In a first, astronomers witness the birth of a planet from gas and dust.

posted Jul 7, 2018, 7:17 AM by Alan Gould
By Daniel Clery, Science Magazine. For GSS A Changing Cosmos chapter 7. Excerpt: In the first convincing observation of its kind, astronomers have directly imaged a newborn planet still forming around its star. The planet, hotter than any in our solar system, supports what astronomers have long believed: that such bodies are born of the disks of gas and dust that coalesce around young stars. “After decades of speculation, it’s nice to actually see one. It’s very comforting,” says astronomer Kevin Heng of the University of Bern in Switzerland, who was not involved in the work. The initial discovery was led by astronomer Miriam Keppler of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany. Since 2015, her team has been regularly surveying hundreds of young stars for signs of exoplanets with a next-generation imaging instrument called SPHERE (for Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research), attached to the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Cerro Paranal in Chile. One of those stars was PDS 70, a 10-million-year-old dwarf star about 370 light-years from Earth.... http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/07/first-astronomers-witness-birth-planet-gas-and-dust