Evidence of forming planet discovered 335 light-years from Earth
New discoveries from the star could allow astronomers to test their theories and learn more about the formation of solar systems, including our own, said Sean Brittain from Clemson University in South Carolina.
“This system is very close to Earth relative to other disk systems,” he said. “We’re able to study it at a level of detail that you can’t do with more distant stars. This is the first system where we’ve been able to do this.
“Once we really understand what’s going on, the tools that we are developing can then be applied to a larger number of systems that are more distant and harder to see.”
For more than a decade, the team has focused some of Earth’s most powerful telescopes on a disk-shaped cloud of gas and dust that surrounds HD 100546.
The star is about 2.5 times larger and 30 times brighter than the Sun, Brittain said. It’s in the constellation Musca the Fly and can only be seen from the Southern Hemisphere.