Mysterious Object Might be a Newborn Alien Planet


Scientists have spotted a new object in space, and they have reasons to believe that it might be a new alien planet. The discovery can be seen next to two young stars as well, according to the new study that has been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

The discovery was made while scientists were observing CS Cha, a binary system that is around 540 light years from Earth. While researchers can tell that CS Cha is 2 million to 3 million years old, it is hard to determine the age of the newly found object. In fact, they can’t even tell for sure what it is.

Finding the object

In order to study CS Cha, the team used the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research (SPHERE) instrument, installed on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.

What they saw looked like a simple dot near the CS Cha system. The researchers managed to find other pictures of that dot, including a 19-year-old picture from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and an 11-year old image by the VLT.

Its own dust disk

According to scientists, the objects appear to have its own dust disk. “The tricky part is that the disk blocks a large part of the light, and that is why we can hardly determine the mass of the companion. It could be a brown dwarf but also a super-Jupiter in his toddler years. The classical planet-forming-models can’t help us,” explained Christian Ginski, of Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands.

Discovering what it is

The research goes one, and scientists aim to find out what the object is. In the future, they will use the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) which is a network of radio telescopes.


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