October 6, 2022

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The galaxy's newest planet?  Astronomers say they may have found it.

The galaxy’s newest planet? Astronomers say they may have found it.

According to him, there are more than 5,000 planets outside our solar system NASA, And astronomers announced this week that they may have discovered their smallest yet.

Scientists used the Atacama Large Millimeter/ Submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. Astrophysical Journal Letters The first ever discovery of gas in a disk around the planet, clusters of dust and debris have been found around the minor planets.

discovery, according to National Radio Astronomy Observatorywhich is partnered with the ALMA website, Indicates a very small exoplanet – term A planet outside our solar system.

While studying AS 209 – a young star 395 light-years from Earth in Constellation Ophiuchus that decorates the sky in summer — astronomers have observed “a point of light emitted in the middle of an empty hole in the gas surrounding the star,” according to one study. NRAO News article on results Tuesday.

This led to the discovery of the planetary disk surrounding a planet likely to be the mass of Jupiter, the Radio Astronomy Observatory article said.

Researchers closely monitor the planet, which is 18.59 billion miles from the host star. The observatory said that this distance is “currently accepted challenges to theories of planet formation.” “And if the estimated age of the host star of only 1.6 million years is correct, this exoplanet could be one of the youngest ever discovered.”

The observatory said new observations of gas in a planetary disk at AS 209 may shed more light on the evolution of planets’ atmospheres and the processes by which their moons form.

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The star system has also been of interest to scientists for more than five years due to the presence of seven overlapping rings, which researchers believe are related to the formation of the planet.

AS 209 is a young star in the constellation Ophiuchus that scientists have now determined hosts what may be one of the smallest exoplanets ever.

Scientists said more research is needed, and astrophysicists hope for upcoming observations with James Webb Space Telescope It will confirm the existence of the planet.

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“The best way to study planet formation is to observe the planets as they form. We live in a very exciting time when this is happening thanks to powerful telescopes, such as ALMA and JWST,” Jehan Bey, professor of astronomy at the University of Florida and lead author of the research paper, said in the article.

The first images from the $10 billion telescope — which launched on December 25, 2021 — circulated throughout July. when they were released to the public. Science Marvel is a joint project of NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency, He traveled a million miles through space.

Natalie Nysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach out to her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter Tweet embed.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Astronomers say they may have found the smallest planet in the galaxy