Is there one more planet in the neighbourhood? New study finds evidence
Wait, What? There might be another planet in the universe. Well, a new study by astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics has shown evidence of the same, reported ANI. The newly discovered planet in the neighbourhood is around the size of Neptune or Saturn. As per the findings of the report, the planet is said to be around one to three million years old.
Planets are created in protoplanetary discs, which are basically the bands of gas and dust that encircle newly formed, young stars. Although the universe has hundreds of these discs, it is a challenging task to observe genuine planetary birth and development, NASA explained.
Feng Long, a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Astrophysics and project leader has mentioned, “directly finding young planets is highly tough and has thus far only been effective in one or two situations.”
The astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics, a collaboration among Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Harvard College Observatory, have created a pioneering method to find these hard-to-spot planets and have given “smoking gun” proof of the Neptune or Saturn like planet hiding in the disc of dust and gas.
Choosing to revisit the LkCa 15 protoplanetary disc, situated in the Taurus constellation 518 light years away, for the research, Long observed new, high-resolution ALMA data on LkCa 15, mostly from 2019, and found two faint characteristics that were not present before. Long also discovered the object’s placements and sizes were consistent with the presence of a planet.
Long noted, “We’re seeing that this material is not simply floating around freely, it’s stable and has a preference where it wants to be put.”
While technological limitations make it hard to directly image the young planet anytime soon, Long stated that further AMLA studies of LkCa 15 can offer more proof of her planetary discovery.