Young protoplanets are much harder to find than those already formed. They can be detected only by indirect methods – for example, by anomalies in the behavior of the gas-dust disk around a new star. It was this approach that helped a group of astronomers from Australia and America find three “space babies” around the star HD 163296.
Observations of the object were conducted with the help of radio telescopes of the ALMA system in the Atacama Desert. By perturbations in the gas clouds around the star, two planets with masses of approximately 0.6 and 1 mass of Jupiter were discovered.
Using the refined method, one more, the largest planet, was found – its mass is about 1.3 times the mass of Jupiter.
The article about their discovery scientists published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters. This discovery will allow us to better understand the mechanisms of the formation of new planets, and also to improve the ways of their search. True, astronomers make the reservation that the smallest of the three planets can be just the outer boundary of the zone of magneto-rotational instability around the star, and the biggest one is not a “baby” but a migrant from other regions of the Galaxy.