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March 24, 2011

Astronomers May Have Spotted Distant Baby Planet's Birth, A Cosmic First

Recently, scientists have discovered what appears to be a baby planet forming around a sun-like star 350 light years from Earth. This process was observed using “The Very Large Telescope” in the constellation Chameleon. It was discovered while scientists were attempting to view another star and noticed a gap within the surrounding disc of dust and gas.

It is a small object, implying that it is either a budding planet or a brown dwarf. But scientists plan to observe it over the next months to chart its growth. While the formation of other protoplanets have been observed, this occurrence would mark the “earliest stage of planet birth that has ever been seen.”

For more information, the full article can be found at:
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-02/astronomers-may-have-spotted-distant-baby-planets-birth-cosmic-first

Posted by ecfo at March 24, 2011 01:53 AM

Comments

It would be great if they could make a visual model of the formation of the planet. We hear about accretion and other processes that form our planets, but seeing pictures would speak much louder. Very interesting that we are able to see far enough away where we can actually possibly see other galaxies and planets forming!

Posted by: sekoch at March 24, 2011 03:43 PM

Not only would it be cool to be able to see the actual accretion process, rather than just the videos depicting it, but following the development of a planet seems incredibly useful in regards to any field of astronomy. If observations are constant and careful we should be able to learn even more about our own solar system's creation. This could help to verify some of the things we "know" to be true.

Posted by: strodel at March 29, 2011 03:59 PM

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