21 Oct '11, 1pm

Hawaii astronomer captures image of forming planet - Yahoo! via @yahoosg

HONOLULU (AP) — Astronomers have captured the first direct image of a planet being born. Adam Kraus, of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy, said the planet is being formed out of dust and gas circling a 2-milion-year-old star about 450 light years from Earth. The planet itself, based on scientific models of how planets form, is estimated to have started taking shape about 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. Called LkCa 15 b, it's the youngest planet ever observed. The previous record holder was about five times older. Kraus and his colleague, Michael Ireland from Macquarie University and the Australian Astronomical Observatory, used Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea to find the planet. "We're catching this object at the perfect time. We see this young star, it has a disc around it that planets are probably forming out of and we see something right in the middle of a ga...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/hawaii-astronomer-captures-image...

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