First confirmed image of the birth of a planet

It shows a planet, dubbed PDS 70b, taking shape in the disc of gas and star dust surrounding the young dwarf star PDS 70.

Astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy used a very large telescope in the Atacama Desert in Chile called the Very Large Telescope (honestly) provided by the European Southern Observatory - the European Space Agency's base in the Southern Hemisphere.

"These discs around young stars are the birthplaces of planets, but so far only a handful of observations have detected hints of baby planets in them", said research leader Miriam Keppler. The surface temperature is now a steamy 1000 degrees Celsius (1832 degrees F).

Once they'd sifted out the starlight, scientists probed the mysterious baby planet.

"After this exciting discovery, I hope many more detections of [this] kind of planets will come in the future, enabling us to get a statistical view on the properties of young, forming planets", Keppler added.

SPHERE features a coronagraph, which blocks out the blinding light of a star, allowing dim orbiting planets to be resolved.

Capturing a planet's birth is exceptionally hard because it's often too far away to see on a telescope.

SPHERE uses multi-wavelength observations, a coronagraph and a technique called high-contrast imaging to filter out the signal of faint exoplanets circling bright stars.

Researchers have always been on the hunt for a baby planet, and this is the first confirmed discovery of its kind.

The planet can be seen just right of center inside the disk (the very bright blur).

The discovery of PDS 70b is a significant event for astronomers, and subsequent teams of researchers are already following up on the initial research.

Each journey around the dwarf star takes about 118 years. We're way, way past the adorable infant stage for our planet.

It's about as far away from its sun as Uranus is from ours.

The footage is important because, up until this point, scientists largely believed in a dominant theory for planet formation that they were unable to confirm.

Welcome to the universe, PDS 70b.

Data revealing the chemical makeup of the exoplanet's atmosphere will help scientists model the gas giant's formation and early evolution.

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