Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » News

Alien Planet Photo: Is Something Really Out There?

Travelers Today       By    Antranig Dereyan

Updated: Mar 02, 2013 11:43 AM EST

Text Size: A A A

n alien world just two-thirds the size of Earth - one of the smallest on record - detected by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope
The exoplanet candidate, known as UCF-1.01, orbits a star called GJ 436, which is located a mere 33 light-years away. UCF-1.01 might be the nearest world to our solar system that is smaller than our home planet. (Photo : Reuters)

As David Duchovny famously said during his "X-Files'" days, "the truth is out there," well,   according to astronomers who think they've captured the first-ever direct photograph of an alien planet, he could be right.

The picture, which captured a giant alien planet as it is coming together, was snapped by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile. It shows a faint blob embedded in a thick disk of gas and dust around the young star HD 100546. The object appears to be a baby gas giant planet, similar to Jupiter, forming from the disk's material, scientists say, reported Yahoo.

Share This Story

"So far, planet formation has mostly been a topic tackled by computer simulations," astronomer Sascha Quanz of ETH Zurich in Switzerland, leader of the research team, said in a statement. "If our discovery is indeed a forming planet, then for the first time scientists will be able to study the planet formation process and the interaction of a forming planet and its natal environment empirically at a very early stage," stated Yahoo.

The star HD 100546, which lies 335 light-years from Earth, was already thought to host another giant planet that orbits it about six times farther out than the Earth is from the sun. The new potential planet lies even farther, about 10 times the distance of its sibling, at roughly 70 times the stretch between the Earth and sun. [Giant Planet In the Making Spotted? (Video)], according to Huffington Post.

The online site goes on to explain how the possible planet fits the picture scientists are building of how worlds form.

Stars themselves are born in clouds of gas and dust, and after the form, a disk of leftover material often orbits them. From this disk, baby planets can take shape. That's what appears to be happening here.

"Exoplanet research is one of the most exciting new frontiers in astronomy, and direct imaging of planets is still a new field, greatly benefiting from recent improvements in instruments and data analysis methods," said Adam Amara, another member of the team. "In this research we used data analysis techniques developed for cosmological research, showing that cross-fertilization of ideas between fields can lead to extraordinary progress," according to Yahoo.

The findings are detailed in the Feb. 28 issue of "Astrophysical Journal Letters."

Cue the "X-Files'" theme here.

© 2015 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

Travel Tips

Lima, Peru

A Travel Guide to Peru: Things to Know

Peru is a cultural hub filled with unique sights to see, amazing cuisine, a plethora of activities, and is definitely somewhere worth putting on your travel bucket list, but there are a few things to know before planning your trip.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

20 sleeping dam workers were killed Balochistan, Pakistan

Dam Workers Killed: 20 Sleeping Workers Gunned By 40 Men In Pakistan

Dam Workers Killed – Early Saturday, gunmen in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province shot and killed at least 20 sleeping workers, while wounding three at a dam construction site. The attack which had the dam workers killed is now considered the deadliest attack in recent times which targeted civilians in a region with low-level insurgency.

Disturbing video shows horse thief being beaten by police in California

Horse Thief Beaten By Police: Shocking Footage Shows 11 Officers Brutally Beating Thief, Gets Internal Investigation

Horse Thief Beaten By Police – A video showing more than ten deputies beating and kicking a suspected horse thief is making headlines. The footage of the showing the horse thief beaten by police has been recorded by an NBC Los Angeles helicopter Thursday, and it lasts for about two minutes.

Six Thais, one Italian injured in car bomb blast on Thailand's Samui island

Thailand Car Bomb Explosion: Injures 7 In Popular Resort Island, Act Of Islamic Insurgency?

Thailand Car Bomb Explosion – On Friday, a bomb exploded at the Central Festival shopping mall in Samui Island in Surat Thani province, one of the country’s popular resort islands. The Thailand car bomb explosion, which went off in the basement of the mall after a fashion show at 11:30 p.m., injured seven people, according to authorities.

7 died in a plane crash near Bloomington, IL while returning home from NCAA championship game

Bloomington, Il Plane Crash: 7 Dead While Returning From NCAA Tournament, NTSB Investigating

Bloomington, Il Plane Crash – Seven people died after a small plane crash in McLean County, Illinois, near the Bloomington airport Tuesday while on its way home from the NCAA basketball tournament in Indianapolis. Authorities said that two members of Illinois State University's athletic department were amongst those killed in the Bloomington, Il plane crash.

Dozens arrested as violence erupts at Kentucky's basketball celebration

Lexington Fans Arrested: Wildcat Fans Rampage Over Loss, 31 Arrests Made

Lexington Fans Arrested – Following the loss of Wildcats to the Badgers, a number of Wildcat fans were left bewildered over the loss. However, some fans were quite enraged that they took their rage literally with a number of fires spread in the University of Kentucky’s Lexington Campus.

Caribbean Beach

Delaware Family Pesticide: Family In Critical Condition Following Alleged Pesticide Poisoning At Caribbean Resort

Delaware Family Pesticide – What should have been a safe and enjoyable Caribbean getaway turned out to be a deadly one. A family from Delaware is in serious condition following an alleged pesticide poisoning at the Sirenusa Resort on St. John in the US Virgin Islands.

75,000 Solar Workers To Be Trained By 2020, Says Obama

75,000 Solar Workers: To Be Trained By 2020, Says Obama

75,000 solar workers will now be trained due to a new initiative to expand the nation’s solar industry workforce. The launch of the 75,000 solar workers initiative was made by President Obama during a visit to Utah’s Hill Air Force Base on Friday, according to the Washington Post.

Hundreds of fishermen rescued following Indonesian slavery probe

Hundreds Of Fishermen: Rescued From Slavery In Indonesia, Tasered, Beaten, Whipped With Stingray Tails, Forced To Catch Fish For Western Restaurants?

Hundreds of fishermen rescued Friday from an isolated Indonesian island occurred after an investigation by the Associated Press investigation revealed the workers were enslaved to catch seafood possibly ending up in Western restaurants.

U.S. Navy alarmed at Beijing’s ‘Great Wall of sand’ in South China Sea

China’s Great Wall Of Sand In South China Sea, Why Is U.S. Navy Alarmed?

Great Wall Of Sand – China has been building a “Great Wall of sand” with the use of an unparalleled program of land reclamation in the South China Sea. Because of this great wall of sand, many are having "serious questions" about the country’s intentions for it, according to the BBC.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2015 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics