Astronomers have first spotted a possible area of ​​moon formation


While scientists have found a lot exoplanets over the years they have not yet spotted the moons orbiting those worlds outside our solar system. Now it has a group of astronomers discovered (PDF) which is believed to be a region with exomonies under construction first time. Myriam Benisty and a team from the University of Grenoble have found a disk of dust – a region that creates the moon – around a young exoplanet in a stellar system called PDS 70 located 370 light-years from Earth.

The team found the first protoplanet (PDS 70b) in the system back in 2018 using a very large telescope from the European Southern Observatory in Chile. A year later, they found another young gas giant (PDS 70c) using the same equipment. Astronomers believe, based on available data, that the star system is only 10 million years old and that both gas giants are several times larger than Jupiter. To know more about the system, they focused on it all the other possible instruments, including Large array of millimeters / submillimeters Atacama. ALMA consists of 66 shortwave radio waves, and its observations have enabled the detection of dust around the PDS 70c.

The disk of dust extends a little wider than that between the Earth and the Sun, and there is enough mass inside for three months of the same size as ours. Benisty says the months may have already formed, but there is no definitive evidence yet because they cannot be seen with ALMA. According to Science,, Extremely large telescope, which will be the largest optical telescope in the world when built, may have the power to see if moons have already formed around the protoplanet. However, the telescope is still under construction and scientific operations will not begin until 2027 at the earliest.

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