Some of the best discoveries in the world are made by chance. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that some astronomers found and photographed a newborn planet without even searching for it. The astronomers at the University Of Leiden discovered an exoplanet at 600 light-years away from us, in the Chamaeleon Constellation. What puzzled the scientists was that this planet is a newborn and they couldn’t tell if it’s either a future Super Jupiter or brown dwarf companion in a binary system.
The binary system to which it belongs is called CS Cha and is very young, only 2 to 3 million years old. Scientists should have found only one protoplanetary disk of gas and dust that will later form planets.
However, the photographs revealed a small but important point-like formation that is a planet under development, believe it or not.
This newborn planet could be a future Super Jupiter or a brown dwarf
It turns out that this is not the first time this exoplanet appears in the astronomers’ readings because, 19 years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope has also taken a very good look at it.
However, upon the recent findings, the astronomers came up with two possible theories.
One hypothesis says that it is a brown dwarf, a star with a too smaller mass to be considered otherwise but, at the same time, too bigger mass to be considered a gaseous planet.
The newborn planet can also develop into a Super Jupiter in the future but the astronomers can’t know for sure as the planet’s exact mass can’t be measured because the surrounding disc of dust blocks the light.
Researchers at the University of Leiden, who discovered the newborn planet within a binary system, will continue to study the space object trying to find out more about it. However, whether it’s a brown dwarf or a Super Jupiter, the whole discovery is still a great one, as there are not many direct pics of exoplanets (see below), let alone exoplanets which are still under development.