. 24/7 Space News .
ALMA images moon-forming disk around alien world
by Brooks Hays
Washington DC (UPI) Jul 22, 2021

Scientists used the powerful ALMA telescope to identify and measure a circumplanetary disk surrounding an exoplanet located 400 light-years from Earth. Photo by ALMA/ESO/NAOJ/NRAO/Benisty, et al./The Astrophysical Journal

Astronomers have for the first time imaged a moon-forming disk around an exoplanet.

Scientists expect the discovery -- made using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimeter Array and detailed Thursday in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters -- to aid the study of planet and moon formation in young solar systems.

"Our work presents a clear detection of a disc in which satellites could be forming," co-author Myriam Benisty, astronomer at the University of Grenoble in France, said in a press release.

"Our ALMA observations were obtained at such exquisite resolution that we could clearly identify that the disc is associated with the planet and we are able to constrain its size for the first time," Benisty said.

A few years ago, astronomers spotted what they thought to be a circumplanetary disc surrounding the exoplanet PDS 70c, one of two Jupiter-like planets orbiting a young star located 400 light-years away in the constellation Centaurus.

At the time, the moon-forming disk was too faint to distinguish from the surrounding gas and dust, but the latest observations by ALMA revealed the disk's dimensions and mass.

Scientists determined the disk is as wide as the distance between Earth and the sun, and also boasts enough material to form three satellites the size of Earth's moon.

"These new observations are also extremely important to prove theories of planet formation that could not be tested until now," said lead study author Jaehan Bae, a researcher from the Earth and Planets Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Scientists knew that a circumplanetary disk can help budding planets capture surrounding planet-forming material and regulate its growth, but until now, they couldn't be certain exactly what this process looked like.

"More than 4,000 exoplanets have been found until now, but all of them were detected in mature systems," said co-author Miriam Keppler, researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany.

"PDS 70b and PDS 70c, which form a system reminiscent of the Jupiter-Saturn pair, are the only two exoplanets detected so far that are still in the process of being formed," Keppler said.

PDS 70b and PDS 70c were first located using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope and later rendered in greater detail using ALMA.

The astronomers hope to gain further insights into planet and satellite formation using ESO's Extremely Large Telescope, which is currently under construction in Chile's Atacama desert.

"The ELT will be key for this research since, with its much higher resolution, we will be able to map the system in great detail," said co-author Richard Teague, a researcher at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and the Smithsonian.

Related Links
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

From the sun to the stars: A journey of exoplanet discovery begins
University Park PA (SPX) Jul 22, 2021
The NEID spectrometer, a new tool for the discovery of planets outside of our solar system, has now started its scientific mission at the WIYN 3.5m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, Arizona. "We are proud that NEID is available to the worldwide astronomical community for exoplanet discovery and characterization," said Jason Wright, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State and NEID project scientist. "I can't wait to see the results we and our colleagues around the world wil ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

What you need to know about Starliner's Test-2

Progress 77 and Pirs undocked from Station

Space Tourism, Space Entrepreneurs and the Business and Economics of Space

Space food costs are out of this world

SpaceX to launch NASA's Europa Clipper on Falcon Heavy rocket in 2024

NASA conducts 5th test in RS-25 series

ESA advances Vega rocket evolution beyond 2025

Roscosmos says US greenlit import of Russia's RD-181M rocket engines

China's Mars rover travels 585 meters on red planet

Insight data offers clues to Mars' deep interior, formation in solar system

Meet the Martian meteorite hunters

Martian global dust storm ended winter early in the south

How Chinese astronauts stay healthy in space

China's five-star red flag flies proudly on red planet

China's Commercial Space Industry

Exercise bike in space helps keep crew fit

Funding partnerships launch the UK-Australia Space Bridge

Space, the final frontier for billionaire Richard Branson

Department of Space's commercial arm NewSpace India can also lease ISRO assets

OneWeb and BT to explore rural connectivity solutions for UK

Upgrades to NASA's Space Communications Infrastructure Pave the Way to Higher Data Rates

German Space Operations Center commands satellite with software of the future

D-Orbit completes deployment phase of WILD RIDE space mission

Harnessing Digital Agility on Northrop Grumman's G/ATOR program

Astronomers show how planets form in binary systems without getting crushed

From the sun to the stars: A journey of exoplanet discovery begins

ALMA images moon-forming disk around alien world

Galileo Project to search for ET artifacts in galactic space

Hubble finds first evidence of water vapor on Ganymede

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for the Europa Clipper Mission

Juno tunes into Jovian radio triggered by Jupiter's volcanic moon Io

Ride with Juno as it flies past Jupiter and Ganymede

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.