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Astronomers May Have Discovered the Youngest Planet Ever Detected in Our Galaxy

Researchers studying planet formation with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered gas for the first time ever in a circumplanetary disc. Additionally, the discovery points to the existence of a juvenile exoplanet. The Astrophysical Journal Letters released the study’s findings in July.

A buildup of gas, dust, and debris called a circumplanetary disc surrounds newborn planets. In addition to regulating the evolution of young, large planets, these discs contain the material that might eventually form moons and other tiny, rocky objects. The origin of our own Solar System, including that of Jupiter’s Galilean moons, which researchers believe formed in a circumplanetary disc of Jupiter some 4.5 billion years ago, may be better understood by examining these discs in their early phases.

Astronomers May Have Discovered the Youngest Planet Ever Detected in Our GalaxyA space object is classified as a “near-Earth object” by NASA if it is within 120 million miles (193 million km) of Earth and is classified as “possibly dangerous” if it is within 4.65 million miles (7.5 million km). When an item is marked, Astronomers constantly watch it for any departure from its estimated trajectory that may place it on a deadly crash course with Earth, such an unexpected bounce off another asteroid.

Due to the planet’s separation from its star and the star’s advanced age, scientists are keeping a tight eye on the system. The exoplanet is more than 200 Astronomers units, or 18.59 billion miles, from the host star (an Astronomers unit is the distance between the Earth and the Sun). The established theories of planet creation are called into question by this great distance. This exoplanet may be among the youngest ever discovered if the host star’s projected age of just 1.6 million years is accurate. Astrophysicists think that subsequent investigations with the James Webb Space Telescope will confirm the planet’s existence, although further study is required.

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