Astronomers capture possible 'Alien moon' being born 370 light years away

New Delhi, Agencies | Updated : 15 July 2019, 11:49 AM
Alien moon (Photo Credit: A Isella, ALMA )
Alien moon (Photo Credit: A Isella, ALMA )

For the first time ever, a possible moon have been spotted by the team of astronomers. It is to be noted that a picture from the ALMA Observatory in Chile shows a red disk of dust surrounding a planet some 370 light years away.

According to the astronomers, the circle of gas and dust, known as circumplanetary disk, is of an identical structure to that believed to have given birth to Jupiter's moons. During the observation, the astronomers an array of radio telescopes to observe the PDS 70 c planet, a still-forming gas giant orbiting the PDS 70 star.

“It’s quite possible there might be planet-size moons in formation around it,” study leader Andrea Isella of Rice University says in a statement. According to Isella, comparing the data collected by the ALMA and VLT allowed them to confirm that the dust of particles surrounding the planets are actually part of a circumplanetary disk.

“By comparing our observations to the high-resolution infrared and optical images, we can clearly see that an otherwise enigmatic concentration of tiny dust particles is actually a planet-girding disk of dust, the first such feature ever conclusively observed,” Isella added.

The astronomer further stated that he and his team plan to observe the PDS 70 star systems at different time periods in order to study the orbit of the planets surrounding it. They also aim to monitor the formation progress of the possible moon system near the star and planets  

Importantly, the findings of the researchers were detailed in a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

PDS 70 is a dwarf star three-quarters the mass of the sun and which was first revealed through visible light images last month. Both of its planets are between 5-10 times the size of Jupiter.

First Published: Monday, July 15, 2019 11:29 AM
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