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.

© 2014 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

ADVERTISEMENT

Travel Tips

Blogs help you keep your family and friends updated.

So You Want to Write a Travel Blog? A Guide

So you do want to write a travel blog? Do not worry, it is not as hard as it seems. There are a few things, however, that you should keep in mind while creating, writing, and keeping up your blog. Here is a helpful guide to get you started.

Subscribe to our newsletter

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

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines Loses Dog, Owner Left Clueless: Should He Sue Delta For Misplacing 'Very Precious Cargo?'

Delta Airlines loses dog after misplacing the dog owner's precious cargo on one of its recent flights. Now the owner is upset since he is left clueless by the airlines on what really happened to his pet.

columbus farmers market veggies

Columbus Farmers Market Fire: Spectacular Blaze Fueled By High Winds Severely Damages Sprawling Building In Burlington County

Strong winds fueled a growing flame leading to severe damages to a sprawling building at Columbus Farmers Market.

See pandas up close and personal at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Up Close and Personal with Giant Pandas: Chengdu is Calling

Settled in Southwest China is the city of Chengdu. It has lots of beautiful gardens and structures, but what it is most well known for is the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. The research base is just outside the city center and gives tourists a chance to see giant pandas up close in a truly unique way.

Massive Delays, All Flights Halted At Chicago's O'Hare and Midway international airports due to air traffic control fire

Chicago Plane Crash 2014: Pilot Dies, Elderly Couple Miraculously Survive, What Led To Crash?

Chicago plane crash 2014 – Shortly after taking off at the Midway Airport Tuesday morning, a twin-engine cargo plane had crashed at the Southwest Side home. The plane's driver has been confirmed dead while the residents of the home, being an elderly couple, had miraculously survived.

Thai royal flag

Thai Radio Host Jailed: Five-Year Prison Sentence For Monarch Defamation, No Room For Appeal In Military Court?

A Thai radio host jailed recently was put behind bars for five years due to royal defamation, according to his lawyer Tuesday. The Thai radio host jailed is reportedly one of the first sentences passed by a military court for breaching the Lese Majeste Law since a May coup.

Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay: Fake Reservations At New Restaurant Are Part Of Rival's 'Sabotage' Plan

Gordon Ramsay got fake reservations in his restaurant and they were apparently from his rival restaurant.

Holiday Getaway

Why You Should Head To Europe For Your Next Holiday Getaway!

Thinking of traveling this Thanksgiving and Christmas season? But afraid spending much too much over your next last-minute getaway? Here are some of the best tips to follow if you intend to save much while enjoying the perfect European holiday getaway.

New York Pot Arrests

New York Pot Arrests: New Policy Promotes Summonses Instead Of Arrests Since Officers Want To Focus On Other Crimes

New York pot arrests are going to be different this time around after a few changes on the city's marijuana policy have been made.

USS Ross Sailors Attacked By Turkey Youth Union In Istanbul

USS Ross Sailors Attacked By Turkish Mob In Istanbul, Bags Placed Over Heads?

USS Ross sailors attacked by about 20 political activists happened in Istanbul Wednesday. Members of the Turkish Youth Union hurled objects at them, chased the three men and at one point, placed a bag over one of the heads of the USS Ross sailors attacked.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2014 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics