(ORDO NEWS) — The formation of planets is a complex and very long process, taking tens of millions of years.
Despite the continuous expansion of the scope of scientific knowledge, at the moment, astronomers know only a small number of exoplanets that are not yet fully formed.
Two exoplanets PDS 70 b and PDS 70 c , 370 light-years away from the solar system , were originally discovered using the Chilean Very Large Telescope (Very Large Telescope, abbr. VLT).
They are one of the best objects that allow us to understand how planets are born in the orbit of a star.
Thanks to the data provided by the ALMA radio telescope complex, it was confirmed that one of these exoplanets began to form a natural satellite (exosatellite).
Astronomers have previously predicted that the exoplanet PDS 70 c is surrounded by a disk of dust, but the available data were insufficient to confirm its existence.
Now, without a shadow of a doubt, this has been proven and supported by pictures (at the beginning of the article).
This discovery once again reminds us that the solar system is not some special place in the universe, and the satellites of the planets are a common thing.
Formation of exoplanets and exosatellites
Today, scientists know even less about the formation of exo-satellites than about the formation of planets. Even the origin of our own moon is still hotly debated.
But the discovery of an exosatellite forming in the orbit of PDS 70 c may shed light on such a curious process in the vastness of the Universe.
Scientists have calculated that there is enough material in the orbit of the exoplanet PDS 70 c, which is similar in many respects to Jupiter, to eventually form three satellites the size of the Moon.
Notably, the ALMA complex did not detect a dust disk around the Saturn -like exoplanet PDS 70 b.
Perhaps the disk will be discovered later with more powerful telescopes, but until then, the exoplanet PDS 70 c will remain the best object for studying the process of the birth of exoplanets and their exosatellites.
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