Clearest photographs of newly forming planets have been captured by the ALMA Radio Telescope. The planet rings are very clearly visible in pictures, as it is captured by very high resolution devices. There is very high amount of dust around it and hence has been difficult to capture such clear images yet. The practice and testing of the equipment was being carried out since September this year.
Director General of the European Southern Observatory, Prof Tim de Zeeuw one of several organisations involved in Alma said, “Most of what we know about planet formation today is based on theory. Images with this level of detail have up to now been relegated to computer simulations or artist’s impressions.”
HL Tau is at the centre of the planetary system, which is 450 light years away from planet earth. “I think it’s phenomenal. These rings will form planets, asteroids, comets… And eventually as the star evolves, this will cool and settle,” said Dr Aprajita Verma, an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford. It falls under constellation Taurus. Alma has come out very successful in capturing these images from many antennas, which were around 15 kilometers away, and hence much longer wavelengths were impressively used.