- A protoplanet similar to Jupiter has been discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope.
- The planet discovered by the Hubble telescope is called AB Aurigae b and is estimated to be 2 billion years old.
- NASA believes that nature has supported the discovery of a new planet.
A protoplanet similar to Jupiter has been discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope. The researchers have discovered the planet in the process described as ‘intense and violent’. NASA commented that the long-debated theory called ‘disk instability’ can be supported by this discovery and also explains how planets similar to Jupiter are formed.
Theories supporting the discovery
The process of planet formation initiates when the protoplanetary disk becomes dense and cool to be unstable leading to gravitational collapse and thus resulting in a gaseous protoplanet.
The circumstellar disc or protoplanetary is a disc of gas and dust orbiting the star from which planets are formed.
A disk instability theory also confirms that matter slowly moves inwardly in the disc as dust particles grow to centimeter-sized pebbles. This is also the first step towards the formation of kilometer-sized planetesimals which eventually come together to form planets.
NASA comments on the new discovery
The planet discovered by the Hubble telescope is called AB Aurigae b and fixed in a protoplanetary disk with distinctive spiral structures orbiting the young star which is estimated to be 2 million years old. This is also similar to the age of our solar system when planet formation was underway.
Features of newly discovered planet:
- The protoplanet is 9 times the size of Jupiter
- It orbits its host star at 8.6 billion miles, which is 2x the distance from Sun to Pluto
NASA believes that nature has supported the discovery of a new planet as the disk of dust and gas circling the star is nearly face-on to the view from earth. Moreover, this discovery supports the theory that gas planets can be created by the disk instability mechanism.