New way to detect young gas giants

3 Baby Alien Planets Detected Around Newborn Star

In a discovery, an worldwide team of astronomers has used a new technique to discover three infant planets which are around the newborn star, and they are incredible in finding that they are affirming long-held assumptions for the planet formation.

The idea, as the researchers revealed, was to monitor the flow of gases in the disk and look for disturbances or unusual patterns that could signify some sort of interaction with a planet.

Their new technique focuses on the motion of the gas, probing radial pressure gradients in the gas to see the shape of the perturbations-like swirls and eddies in a rocky streambed-allowing astronomers to make a more-precise determination of the masses and locations of any planets embedded in the disk.

Three baby planets have been found in our own solar system by pioneering scientists.

An worldwide team of astronomers has used a new technique to discover three "young" planets around newborn stars. It's 330 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. To detect a new planet, astronomers have detected a new technique that will help in detecting the anomalous patterns of flowing gas which was within the planet-forming disks.

"This entirely new approach could uncover some of the youngest planets in our galaxy", says astronomer Richard Teague of the University of MI and lead author of the first team.

Independently, astronomer Christopher Pinte and his team from Monash University in Clayton, Australia, found a planet a bit further out, around 24 billion miles (39 billion km) from the host star, or 260 AU. All three bodies carried the same mass as that of Jupiter.

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Researchers hope that in the future their method will be employed on other protoplanetary discs.

Astronomers have discovered more than 3,700 confirmed exoplanets in the last few decades, but studying the origins of exoplanets is still hard.

The team led by Teague identified two planets located approximately 12 billion and 21 billion kilometres from the star.

The newly spotted planets appear to be the mass of Jupiter and were detected in the observations of the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in northern Chile. Molecules of CO naturally emit a very distinctive millimeter-wavelength light that ALMA can observe. A previous study of this particular star's disk shows that the dust and gas gaps overlap, suggesting that at least two planets have formed there. Before, astronomers tried to look for structure, like spirals or rings, in the dust to signify a planet's presence.

"We still don't truly understand how planets form, so catching them at this earliest stage and being able to see what the actual mechanisms are that produce these giant planets is really going to help", Teague said. Then, they model what sort of planetary mass you would need to carve out those rings, says Teague, a postdoctoral researcher in the U-M Department of Astronomy. "It is therefore crucial to study kinematics of the gas".

AUs, or astronomical units, is a unit of measurement the distance between the Earth and our sun.

The two studies were published online today (June 13) in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. It is the first detection of its kind.

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