Another stellar record

Following the earlier post about a mini-black hole, this report describes the report (at the Royal Astronomical Society’s annual meeting) of a proto-planet just 2000 years old! The previous youngest known planet is around the 10 million year old mark, so this is a pretty amazing find.

formation of a gas giant

Unlike the Earth’s rocky nature this planet, called HL Tau, is a gas giant condensing to a body with a size similar to Jupiter and may have been induced to do so by the recent close passage of a neighbouring star (called XZ Tau – love the names!).

The read link has an excellent video clip visualising the condensation of a planet. Well worth a look.


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