A debris disk around a distant planet could have caused the birth of the moon. This event, something new in the world of astronomy, occurred in the orbit of the planet PDS 70 c. Here astronomers have a new window and knowledge to learn more about our solar system.
This disk is so massive that it indicates the formation of an exo-moon from a small exoplanet.
For the first time astronomers saw a rising moon
When a new star system forms, the planets coalesce into a cloud of debris called Peripheral disc. Then, the planets could absorb gas and dust from this cloud to form their own disks around the planet.
These discs fuel the growth of the planets and provide the material needed to form the moons.
a The star PDS 70, which is about 370 light-years away from EarthProvide researchers with a unique laboratory to study this process.
Its two giant planets, PDS 70 b and PDS 70 c, are the only ones observed while still embedded in the surrounding disk.
Myriam Beneste d Grenoble Alps University from France, together with colleagues, confirmed that PDS 70 c - and possibly PDS 70 b as well - has a planetary disk.
We know a lot of planets, but these are ready-made planets, and we have to use models to try to understand how planets form by looking at the end product. With these two, we see firsthand how the giant planets and their moons are formed, so these planets are exceptional
Alessandro Morbidelli, of the Côte d'Azur Observatory in France, made it clear that he was not involved in this investigation.
The star 370 light years from Earth is still a young star
Astronomers identified this disc using a file Large Atacama Group Millimeter / Meter (ALMA), located in Chile. There have been hints of a planetary disk being there before, but no conclusive developments.
They found that, depending on the size of the dust grains in the disk around PDS 70c, it likely contains a total dust mass of about 0.7 to 3.1% of Earth's mass.
We can't say which satellites formed, but there is enough material to form them and it's very likely that these satellites formed there. The planet is sometimes larger than Jupiter, which means that it can eventually form many moons, just like Jupiter.
Looking at the planet would be similar to what the Milky Way would look like on a really dark night, a bright stripe in the night sky, but it would be much wider. The PDS 70b likely also has a disc, but it's not as bright, which could mean it's only made of smaller dust grains or gas.
You mentioned another astrological member of the team, Richard Teague.
The researchers also found streams of dust flowing from the surrounding outer disk toward the star, in the region where, if this star system were like ours, smaller rocky planets could form.
The coils transfer material from the outer disk to the inner disk, and this is not only important for the formation of Earth-like planets, but the star is still a young star, so it is still accumulating matter to grow.
Myriam Beneste concluded her speech.
Evidence of how the Earth and the Moon formed
This system provides us with a window to study the formation of planets and moons in general, but with two giant planets mirroring Jupiter and Saturn, it is also reminiscent of our own solar system, albeit a larger one.
This can help us understand how the planets and moons in our solar system formed and evolved.
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