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Hubble watches how the giant planet grows.



Hubble watches how the giant planet grows.

This illustration of the newly formed exoplanet PDS 70b shows how material might fall into the giant Earth while building its mass. Using Hubble’s ultraviolet (UV) sensitivity, researchers have seen a unique ray from hot gas falling to Earth, enabling the first to be able to directly measure the rate of planetary mass growth. It is surrounded by its own disk of gas and dust, the material absorbed by the much larger disk in this solar system. The researchers hypothesized that the magnetic field lines extend from the planetary disk down to the exoplanet’s atmosphere and are material with channels to the planet’s surface. The illustration shows one of the possible magnetic boost configurations. But the detailed geometry of the magnetic field will need to be examined in the future. The distant Earth has five times the mass of Jupiter in about 5 million years, but is expected to be at the end of the formation process.PDS 70b orbits the orange dwarf star PDS 70, located about 370 light-years from Earth in the group. Star Centaurus Credits: Science: McDonald Observatory – University of Texas, Yifan Zhou (UT) ILLUSTRATION: NASA, ESA, STScI, Joseph Olmsted (STScI).

Have you ever messed up a mess in your kitchen while baking? At one point, it might seem like powder floating in the air. But when you add a lot of water and mold the dough, the bread becomes more like a ball. A similar process takes place in a distant solar system known as PDS 70, except that the starch and water are converted to gas and dust. In the case of the planet PDS 70b, gas and dust are slowly drawn in, while this distant planet has been building up mass for millions of years.

Researchers using the Hubble telescope for the first time directly measured the growth rate of PDS 70b, using the observatory’s unique ultraviolet sensitivity to capture radiation from the extremely hot gas falling to Earth. A massive Jupiter-sized Earth orbits a similar distance to Uranus from the Sun, though it passes through messy gas and dust as it travels through the solar system. Planets, which began to form about 5 million years ago, may be at the end of the formation process. The researchers’ discovery opens up a new way to study planetary creation that could help other astronomers who want to learn more about growing giant planets in the distant solar system.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is prompting astronomers to look for Jupiter-sized planets that are sucking up the material surrounding young stars.

“We don’t know a lot about growing giant planets,” said Brendan Bowler of the University of Texas at Austin. “This planetary system gives us the opportunity to see objects falling to Earth for the first time. Our results open up new areas for this research.”

Although more than 4,000 exoplanets have been cataloged, only about 15 have been directly imaged by the telescope. And the planets are very distant and tiny in size are just the best spots in the photograph. The team’s new technique to use Hubble to directly visualize the planet paves a new path for further exoplanet research, especially during the planetary years.

Hubble watches how the giant planet grows.

The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope captured the first clear image of a planet that formed PDS 70b around a dwarf star in 2018. The corona graph is used to block the light of the central star.Credits: ESO, VLT, AndréB.Müller (ESO).

This large exoplanet designated PDS 70b orbits the orange dwarf, PDS 70, which is already known to have two active planets inside a large disk of dust and gas surrounding the star. This system is located 370 light years from Earth in the constellation the Centaurus.

“This system is very exciting because we have seen the formation of the planet,” said Yifan Zhou of the University of Texas at Austin. “This is the youngest honest planet Hubble has ever directly photographed.” At less than 5 million years old, the planet continues to collect material and build its mass.

Hubble’s Ultraviolet (UV) Sensitivity offers a unique look at the rays from the extremely hot gas falling to Earth. “Hubble’s observations allowed us to estimate how massive a planet is,” Zhou added.

The UV observations, complementary to research involving the planet, allow the team to directly measure the rate of planetary mass growth for the first time. The distant Earth has five times the mass of Jupiter in about 5 million years, the rate of increase currently measured has decreased to the point that if the rate continues for another million years, the planet will increase by Estimated and increased by 1 in 100 Jupiter’s mass

Zhou and Bowler emphasized that these observations are merely snapshots over a single period of time – more data is needed to determine if the rate at which the planet is increasing its mass increases or decreases. “Our measurements suggest that the planets are at the end of the formation process.”

Hubble watches how the giant planet grows.

Hubble’s observations identified the planet PDS 70b corona graphs on Hubble’s camera, blocking the reflection of the center star so that the planet could be observed directly. Although more than 4,000 exoplanets have been cataloged, only about 15 have been directly imaged by the telescope. The team’s new technique to use Hubble to directly image this planet paves a new path for further exoplanet research, especially during the planetary years.Credits: Science: NASA, ESA, McDonald. Observatory – University of Texas, Yifan Zhou (UT) Image processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI).

The youthful PDS 70 system is full of early gas and dust disks that provide fuel to feed planetary growth.Throughout the planetary system, the PDS 70b is surrounded by its own gas-and-dust disk, the material it absorbs from the disk. Larger The researchers hypothesized that the magnetic field lines extend from the planetary disk down to the exoplanet’s atmosphere and are material with channels to the planet’s surface.

“If this material traces the column from the disk to the planet, it will produce local hot spots,” Zhou explained. “These hot spots can be at least 10 times hotter than Earth’s temperature.” In UV light

These observations provide insight into how gas giant planets formed around our sun 4.6 billion years ago. Jupiter may clump together on a disk surrounding the faulty material. Its prime moons will also be formed from what’s left of that disk.

The team’s challenge was to overcome the glare of the parent star PDS 70b orbiting at approximately the approximate distance to Uranus from the Sun. But its star is 3,000 times brighter than the planet at the UV wavelength.As Zhou processed the image, he carefully removed the star’s reflection to leave only the light emitted by the planet. In doing so, he improved the limit on how close the planet can be in Hubble observations by a factor of 5.

“Thirty-one years after launch, we continue to explore new ways to use Hubble,” added Bowler. “Yifan’s observation strategies and post-processing techniques will open up a new window in the study of similar systems or Even the same system repeatedly with Hubble from future observations we may discover when most of the gas and dust land on their planet, and if It will be like that at a constant rate. “

The researchers’ findings were published in April 2021 in The Astronomical Journal.


A giant planet that is very far from a mysterious astronomer. The stars resemble the sun.


More information:
Yifan Zhou and others Hubble Space Telescope to measure UV and Hα rays of excess emission from young giant planets PDS 70 b, Astronomical Journal (2021). DOI: 10.3847 / 1538-3881 / abeb7a

ESA / Hubble Information Center



Reference: Hubble watches how giant planets grow (2021, April 29) .Retrieved May 1, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-hubble-giant-planet.html.

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