Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have found what could prove to be the beginnings of a Gas Giant planet. Roughly 335 lightyears away, still in the swirling disc of gas and dust, it could be the world's first observable planetary formation.
Whilst previously the process had been left to computer simulations, this will allow observable evidence play a part in the formation process of a planet in the very early stages. The team who intially made the discovery is being lead by Sascha Quanz.
The solar system it was found in was HD 100546 and is well stuided, with the young star at the centre set to be 2.5 times that of our Sun. The discovery was made when asymetry was noticed in the system, confirmation has still to be acheived of what the body is specirfically, but the protoplanet theory is the forerunner to explaining it.
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