In June of this year, with the help of the ALMA telescope, astronomers for the first time managed to make out a clot of matter in a protoplanetary disk around one of the stars. At that time, they needed additional observations to confirm their guesses, but scientists are almost sure that it was precisely the emerging exoplanet.
Using a new method, scientists discovered a new planet in the middle of the protoplanetary disk. This time the phenomenon was seen in the star HD 97048. Astronomers report that they have received confirmation that the object they noticed is precisely a protoplanet, and not some other celestial body. This conclusion was made based on the structural features of the gas-dust disk, which are characteristic only of the processes of planet creation.
In this work, scientists first used a new method for detecting such objects. It is based on mapping gas and dust flows around a star and shooting them in different wavelength ranges. Where the flow is disturbed, there is something more dense than particles of gas and dust, and this object emits much less light than the heated parts of the disk.
The emerging exoplanet / © ALMA
Scientists plan to continue to continue to use the ALMA telescope to detect emerging exoplanets using this method. A study of their formation and the properties of a gas-dust cloud will help to better understand the evolution of stellar and planetary systems and, in particular, the origin of our planet.