Moon-forming region around an exoplanet, seen for the first time
- Posted By
Science & Technology
27th Jul, 2021
Scientists have spotted a Moon-forming region around a planet that is beyond our solar system.
About the discovery
- The researchers used the ALMA observatory in Chile's Atacama desert to detect the Moon-forming region.
- It is like a disc of swirling material that is accumulated around exoplanets.
- It is called a circumplanetary disc which gives rise to the moons.
- The disc was found around one of the two newborn planets seen orbiting a young star called PDS 70.
- These exoplanets are located a relatively close 370 light-years from Earth.
- A light-year is a distance which is traveled by light in a year, about 9.5 trillion km.
- Around more than 4,400 planets have been discovered outside the solar system. These planets are called exoplanets.
- No circumplanetary discs were found until now because all the known exoplanets resided in “mature” and fully developed solar systems.
- The two infant gas planets orbiting PDS 70 a young star are seen to have circumplanetary discs.
How the Birth of a moon takes place?
- Stars burst to life within clouds of interstellar gas and the generated dust scatters throughout galaxies.
- The Leftover material spins around a new star then coalesce into planets.
- Some nascent planets attract a disc of material around them, which is known as circumplanetary discs. The same process, which gives rise to planets around a star, follows the same process to the formation of moons around planets.
PDS 70 star
- The orange-colored star PDS 70 is roughly the same mass as our Sun.
- It is about 5 million years old which is like a blink of an eye in cosmic time.
- The two planets are even younger.
- Both planets are larger but similar to Jupiter, a gas giant.
- A moon-forming disc was around one of the two planets, called PDS 70c.
- Both the planets of PDS 70 star are at a dynamic stage and are still acquiring their atmospheres.
- PDS 70c orbits its star at 33 times the distance of the Earth from the sun.