Baby Exoplanets Photographed During Formation
Infant planets have been spotted forming in the disk of gas and dust around their stars for the first time.
Four groups of astronomers caught three different stars transforming from lone bachelors with thick disks of material around their middles to proud parents of a growing family of gas giant planets.
The new observations directly show a companion orbiting in the disk around young star T Chamaeleontis (T Cha), the first time a potential planet has been seen midformation. The young stars LkCa15 and AB Auriga also have Saturn-like rings with gaps in the middle, indicating the presence of at least one planet.