Birth of Planet Seen for the First Time!

The only “eye” witness as this magical burst of planetary creation was ALMA radio telescope.  However, the images captured by the scope have now been seen by scientists the world over.  The “mother star, if we keep with the analogy, it HL Tau located in the constellation Taurus.  The young yellow-dwarf star (like our sun, Sol) is engulfed by a large disc of dust, gas and other debris, the remains of its own creation.  Planets form within this disc as components of the disc begin to consolidate into larger bodies.  Once the new stellar bodies gain enough mass, it alters the appearance of the disc.  The new bodies cause rings to form in the disc, the negative space representing the matter accruing into the new planetary body.  ALMA images showed such rings around HL Tau and hence the birth of a new planetary body!

(ALMA Radio Telescope image of rings in the planetary risk. Image Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO))

artist's impression of a protoplanetary disc

(Artist’s interpretation of the ALMA Image. Image Credit: NSF/A.Khan/BBC)

Read more details at the BBC and the ALMA website.

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