An international team of researchers led by Dutch astronomers from Leiden University discovered a young planet around the CS Cha binary star system. It is by examining the double star that the scientists discovered by chance the image of this new planet.
According to the astronomers, this planet is still being formed. On the other hand, the planet already has its own disk of dust.
Scientists were able to confirm the presence of this planet thanks to an infrared image of the CS Cha binary. By passing the image under special polarization filters, the researchers were able to observe very clearly the exoplanets and dust disks around CS Cha.
As for this new planet, it has been found around the double star. To study it better, the experts used SPHERE, the observation instrument on the gigantic European telescope located in Chile.
The CS Cha binary star and the young planet are located at a distance of six hundred light-years from Earth in an area of southern constellation called Chamaleon. The researchers describe it as a star formation area. Initially, astronomers were conducting a research on binary systems to study this mode of formation of stars and dust disks.
They then discovered a small point on the photographs they had taken of the system. The scientists then searched the telescope archives for old photos showing this point. They found two, an eleven-year-old photograph taken by the Very Large Telescope and a nineteen-year-old image taken by Hubble.
Thanks to these old photographs, scientists have been able to establish that this young planet has always accompanied the binary star. However, researchers still have no idea what this planet looks like, whether it is a large planet or a small dwarf star and how it was formed.
According to Christian Ginski, lead author of this study and researcher at the Leiden Observatory, this new planet is distinguished not only by its strong polarization but also by the fact that it is surrounded by its own disk of dust. This prevents scientists from giving an estimate of its mass.
Nevertheless, scientists are thinking of using the international ALMA telescope located on the Chajnantor plateau in the northern Andes, Chile, to better observe the CS Cha binary star and its young neighbor.