330 Light- Years from Earth, the Newborn Star is found to have hidden baby planets orbiting it, as per the latest findings

It came as a challenge for scientists and a team of international astronomers, through a modern technique which discovered three baby planets around a newborn star. Since the 1990s, scientists have found many exoplanets that orbit distant stars, but this latest discovery of the infant protoplanets that are embedded in stellar expanses of dust and gas is an incredible discovery that affirms age-old assumptions of planet formations.  

Under normal circumstances, exoplanets get detected as they come in front of the host star, which results in dimming effect, or at times when the gravity of these exoplanets makes the host star to jiggle slightly. These techniques do not allow so well to study the protoplanetary disk (the dull and hazed expanses that are full of dust, gases and rocks). As per theory, within these disks, planets are formed, but ironically astronomers have never seen this happening, neither have ever they found any baby planet in these dust filled incubators. This stands as an issue as scientists are very much keen on detecting protoplanets. But now with the findings of the latest discoveries that were published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, the picture is much more transparent.

Three baby planets were detected by two teams of astronomers, using ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimetre Array} in Chile, around the young star – HD 163296, which is at a distance of 330 light years from the Earth. This star may be twice in size of the sun, but almost one-thousand times younger the suns age, at just four million years. The astronomers used new technology to detect these infant planets. A technique that finds out anomalous patterns of gas flows within the disks that form planets. 

Richard Teague, the astronomer with the University of Michigan, led the team that found two protoplanets of the Jupiter mass located at about 12 billion km (7.4 billion miles) and 21 million km (13 billion miles) away from the host star. It’s almost 80 and 140 times respectively the distance from the Earth to the sun. 

In another independent finding by Christopher Pinte, at the Monash University of Clayton, Australia, he and his team observed a planet a little more distant at about 39 billion km (24 billion miles) away from the host star. The findings confirmed that all the three planets are embedded firmly within the protoplanetary disk of HD 163296.

It has been an encouraging outcome that highlights ALMA’s capabilities to hunt for infant planets. With the success of the new technology, it also confirms that many other protoplanetary disks can be studied similarly.  

The Interstellar Comet Dust Has The Secret Of The Solar System

A simple trail of the interstellar dust can take us back to the origin of the solar system. Just like every other star and planet systems of the different galaxies, our solar system started as a cloud of interstellar dust and gas. Some of those pre-solar dust particles are still preserved in certain cosmic objects like the comets and asteroids. Tons of such cosmic specks of dust fall on the Earth’s atmosphere every year. The scientists are following a trail of such interstellar dust to go back in time to discover more details about the formation and transformation of our solar system. 

NASA Is Analyzing Such Pre-Solar Cosmic Dust –

NASA uses a special aircraft with a sticky collector to catch the falling interstellar specks of dust onto the Earth’s atmosphere at a very high altitude. The lower the specks of dust come down, they get contaminated by the materials present on our planet. Hope Ishii is leading a team of researchers to study and analyze an exceptionally ancient type of interplanetary dust particles collected by the aircraft. These dust particles are composed of grains of glass, metals, and sulfides. The origin of the dust particles is dated back to the pre-solar days. They have survived the building phase of our solar system. In other words, they are the surviving dust particular of our solar system that did not transform into planets and stars. 

Digging Deeper To Go Back In Time – 

The composition of the cosmic dust particles that Hope Ishii and his team are analyzing for years has been termed as GEMS. GEMS stands for Glass Embedded On Metal and Sulfides. GEMS are surrounded by carbon atoms of different types that decompose at a very low temperature. Therefore, the team has assumed that these cosmic specks of dust have come from a rather cold inner solar nebula. But going by their age, how these dust particles have survived the extreme interstellar conditions without decomposing is still a mystery. 

The scientists are digging deeper to understand the condition under which the solar system started its formation of the sun and the planets and satellites. They are hopeful that sooner than later they will have an exact understanding of the process of formation of our solar system and how the cosmic materials were altered to bring about the formation of stars and planets. NASA is continuously collecting cosmic clouds of dust falling on the Earth in search of more primitive particles that could reveal more about the formation of the entire universe.