Manage episode 235518938 series 1229115
Our sensors are picking up, no wait, we have a visual. Computer, put it on screen. Whoa, that’s new. The image is showing two, not one but two planets in orbit around it’s parent star. It’s not exactly a hi rez image, but it’s enough to be only the second time a multi-planetary system has been captured using direct imaging.
The host star is called PDS 70, located 370 light years away. Its just a baby, only 6 million years old, a bit smaller than our sun, and is still building up steam from its surrounding accretion disk. This is all the stuff in a busy young solar system, that needs to get cleaned up. And that’s exactly what these two planets are doing.
They are big planets, several times bigger than Jupiter. That’s why we can pick them up on visual. As they orbit around the star, they are clearing the debris in their paths.
The inner most planet, PDS 70 b, is the closest to it’s star, 3 billion Km, which is about how far Uranus is from the Sun. Further out is PDS 70 c, closer to 6 billion Km away, like Neptune.
We have images of other fully formed planets, but none like this, not this young.