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Watching the young double star CS Cha with the SPHERE tool on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), an international team of astronomers “accidentally” photographed a young exoplanet in the making. The results of the study are presented in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics
Infrared image of a double star and her companion. Credit: C. Ginski / SPHERE
“The most interesting thing is that the light of the exoplanet is highly polarized. Most likely it is surrounded by a dust disk that blocks most of the world, and this makes it difficult to determine its mass. Our calculations showed that this object can be either a brown dwarf or a growing super-Jupiter. Unfortunately, the classical models of planetary formation can not help us in this matter, “says Christian Ginsky, lead author of the study from the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands.
The binary star CS Cha is located about 600 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Chameleon. Its age is estimated at only 2-3 million years. In the future, researchers plan to study the double system and its satellite in more detail using an array of ALM radio telescopes.