In the results of a new study published across two papers in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, researchers outlined the new method that they used to find three planets orbiting HD 163296, a star believed to have formed in our galaxy a short 4 million years ago. Their new method looked at unusual patterns of gas flowing in the disk to find the telltale signs of planets.
The two new studies provide strong evidence for the existence of those two presumed alien worlds, as well as a third one.
"When a planet forms in a protoplanetary disk it can carve a gap and produce wakes in the disk".
Meanwhile, the second team of researchers led by Richard Teague, an astronomer at the University of MI and principal author on one of the papers, measured variations in the gas's velocity which revealed the impact of multiple planets on the gas motion nearer to the star.
Astronomer Christopher Pinte along with his team from Monash University in Clayton, Australia and has found a planet and they are around 24 billion miles from the host star or 260 AU.
But with the help of the world's most expensive ground-based telescope, two teams of astronomers are convinced they've found not one, but three baby planets.
"We see regions rotating slower and faster than you would expect for gas simply orbiting a star following Kepler's law".
"We looked at the localized, small-scale motion of gas in a star's protoplanetary disk", said University of MI astronomer and study principal author Richard Teague.
Finding young planets in our galaxy is still very much at the forefront of science.
Two of the protoplanets were identified by a research team led by Richard Teague from the University of MI in Ann Arbor. The protoplanetary disks are the gas- and dust-filled planet factories that encircle young stars. Subtle changes in the light emitted by CO revealed that the gas is interacting with massive objects.
The scientists found the planets by looking out for disturbances in the gas-filled disk around the star. Before, astronomers tried to look for structure, like spirals or rings, in the dust to signify a planet's presence. According to him, "this method promises to open new perspective direction in the theory of the formation of planetary systems".
The technique used by Dr. Pinte and colleagues, which more directly measured the flow of the gas, is better suited to studying the outer portion of the disk.
The new technique is less likely to generate false positives, the astronomers say, and will permit more accurate estimates of the masses of protoplanetary discs. "And, if we want to know where planetary atmospheres come from, and what sorts of materials exist in them, we need to know when and where these planets form in the disk".
An astronomical unit is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun, or about 150 million kilometers.
This significant finding was presented in more details by two distinct research reports, both issued today in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. "A Kinematic Detection of Two Unseen Jupiter Mass Embedded Protoplanets", by R. Teague et al.