How was the universe formed? That is a question that many are no doubt curious about. Do planets suddenly just pop into existence? Or were they always there? Now thanks to recent observations made with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, scientists might have a better idea.
In the observation they made, it seems that astronomers could have very well witnessed the birth of a new planet for the first time ever. The images captured by the telescope shows a swirling vortex of dust and gas around AB Aurigae, which is located 520 light years away from Earth in the Auriga constellation.
According to scientists, these types of spirals of dust and gas suggests that there is a baby planet present, which “kicks” the gas and causes a disturbance, thus the spirals of dust and gas. Right in the center of the spiral, there is a little “twist” in which scientists believe this is where the planet is being made.
The findings were published in a study in Astronomy & Astrophysics where according to co-author Anne Dutrey, “The twist is expected from some theoretical models of planet formation. It corresponds to the connection of two spirals — one winding inwards of the planet’s orbit, the other expanding outwards — which join at the planet location. They allow gas and dust from the disc to accrete onto the forming planet and make it grow.”