Astronomers watch the birth of planets around a young star

(ORDO NEWS) — At a distance of 508 light-years from Earth, quite close by cosmic standards, the young star AB Aurigae is still continuing its formation. However, planets are already being born around it.

A new study has shown that one of the planets is formed at a very large distance from its star and in a rather unusual way. In the future, it is likely to become a gas giant similar to Jupiter.

The protoplanet does not yet have a name

AB Aurigae is a very young star, no more than 5 million years old, while the Sun, for example, is 4.6 billion years old. Moreover, its mass is 2.4 times the mass of the Sun.

It is still surrounded by a thick spinning disk of gas and dust. This disk helps the star itself grow and will form its system: planets, asteroids, comets.

  • A scientific article by researchers from Japan and the United States was published in Nature Astronomy.
  • Her data suggest that the planet is being formed from the outside in as a result of the gravitational compaction of a cloud of gas.
  • This is unusual, because it has always been believed that planets are born the other way around – from the center to the outer edges.
  • The observations found a blob indicating the formation of an exoplanet about 93 astronomical units from the star.
  • This distance is three times greater than from the Sun to Neptune, the most distant planet in our system.
  • Calculations show that the mass of the new exoplanet is about nine times the mass of Jupiter.

Astronomers watch the birth of planets around a young star photo in color 2Dusty ring and spiral gas clouds near the star AB Aurigae

Nature is intelligent, it can create planets in many ways,
says Thane Curry, lead author of the study.

In addition, scientists also found that similar processes are taking place at a distance of 430 and 580 astronomical units from AB Aurigae, indicating the formation of other exoplanets.

The findings could help scientists better understand their own solar system.


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