London: Scientists have recently observed a disk of gas and dust with two annular gaps around the young star HD 169142 possibly due to the formation of planets.
Disks with this type of structure are known as "transitional disks" and are considered key to understanding how planetary systems are formed.
Mayra Osorio, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), said that although in recent years more than seventeen hundred extra solar planets have been discovered, few of them have been directly imaged, but so far they have never been able to capture an unequivocal image of a still-forming planet but in case of HD 169142 they might be able to see the seeds of gas and dust which would later become planets.
HD 169142, a young star with twice the mass of the Sun, has disk extends up to two hundred and fifty astronomical units.
The two articles are published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.