Scientists spot a planet as it's being born

Image from the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope showing a planet forming around the dwarf star PDS 70.
A planet's formation is visible as a bright point to the right of the center of the image, which is blacked out to block the light of the central star PDS 70. Image: ESO/A. Müller et al.

Scientists for the first time spotted a new planet being born while nestled within the dusty disk surrounding a young dwarf star. The findings are detailed in two studies describing an exoplanet in its early state of formation and include the first-known clear image of a young planet forming.

Why it matters: If confirmed through subsequent research, the discovery could teach researchers about how other planets, including ones in our solar system, formed.