Recently, pictures were taken by an international team of astronomers of a baby planet beyond the solar system that could help us in gaining insight on how the planets were formed around our sun.
This team also includes an Indian-American Ph.D. student, Rahul I. Patel.
The new planet called “51 Eridani b” is just a 100 light years away. It was discovered by an instrument that is used by the worldwide astronomers known as Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) and was headed by Bruce Macintosh, who is a professor of physics at Stanford University.
The exoplanet is recorded to be million times fainter than its star and shows the presence of strongest methane signature ever on any alien planet providing additional clues on the formation of this world.
Patel mentioned in a statement that the new planet discovered is surrounded by warm dust that indicates the presence of asteroid belt.
This is a huge sign that points out to the possibility of another planet.
He also added “This is because the dust is usually created when lots of large asteroids collide and destroy each other, usually pushed around by a large planet – like 51 Eridani b.”
Earlier also Jupiter- like exoplanets were found but they showed only faint traces of methane. 51 Eridani b features to be the faintest planet ever imagined along with strongest atmospheric methane signal and temperature of 400 Celsius- making it the coldest planet.
Researchers say that all these characteristics indicate the presence of a planet that is similar to the infancy stage of Jupiter.