Baby planet: image shows signs of formation

19 June 2020
Presented by Phil Sansom
Production by Phil Sansom.

Baby_planet

Image of AB Aurigae galaxy showing possible evidence of a baby planet being formed.

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Astronomers have taken what might be the first ever picture of a baby planet being formed. It looks like a beautiful tornado-shaped spiral of light, and there's a tiny twist visible inside one of the arms of the spiral. Why is this an achievement? And how can you actually tell whether there’s a planet inside that tiny point of light? Phil Sansom asked Anthony Boccaletti, who led the team from the European Southern Observatory in taking this picture - as well as University of Cambridge astronomer Carolin Crawford...

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