Finding infant planets in the debris surrounding a star
New observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) contain compelling evidence that two newborn planets, each about the size of Saturn, are in orbit around a young star known as HD 163296. In studying HD 163296, the research team used ALMA to trace, for the first time, the distribution of both the dust and the carbon monoxide gas components of the disk at roughly the same level of detail. By seeing the same features in both the gas and the dust components of the disk, the astronomers believe they have found compelling evidence that there are two planets coalescing remarkably far from the central star.
Provided by National Science Foundation