PDS 70 (center) with PDS 70 b (left) and PDS 70 c (right). Photo: ESO and S. Haffert

Two planets have been spotted growing around a star 370 light-years from our own Sun, according to a study in the journal Nature Astronomy this week.

The big picture: By studying these forming planets, scientists will be able to get a glimpse into how planet formation occurs on a large scale.

  • It's notoriously difficult to spot gaps caused by nascent planets forming in disks of gas and dust surrounding stars, but in this case, the researchers caught sight of hydrogen being eaten up by the growing worlds.

What they found: The star — named PDS 70 — is a bit smaller than our Sun, but it's much younger, at 6 million years old.

  • Scientists discovered the first planet in orbit around PDS 70 in 2018 using the Very Large Telescope in Chile. That world — named PDS 70 b — is thought to be 4–17 times the mass of Jupiter and is the star's innermost planet.
  • The newfound planet, named PDS 70 c, is about 3.3 billion miles from its star, at around the same distance as Neptune is from our Sun.
  • Researchers think PDS 70 c is about 1–10 times as massive as Jupiter and was also spotted with the Very Large Telescope.

What's next: These large planets are likely ideal targets for the JWST — expected to launch in 2021. The huge telescope, which is thought of as the Hubble Space Telescope's successor, is designed to parse out the composition of the atmospheres of planets far from our own solar system.

Go deeper

Coronavirus squeezes the "sandwich generation"

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As the coronavirus poses risks and concerns for the youngest and oldest Americans, the generations in the middle are buckling under the increasing strain of having to take care of both.

Why it matters: People that make up the so-called sandwich generations are typically in their 30s, 40s and 50s, and in their prime working years. The increasing family and financial pressures on these workers means complications for employers, too.

Why Scranton matters again in 2020

Biden and Clinton visit Biden's childhood home in Scranton in 2016. Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The hometown of Joe Biden and "The Office" is polishing its perennial status as a guidepost for the nation's political mood.

Driving the news: Biden returns to Scranton, Pa., today with a campaign stop just outside the city limits at a metalworking plant, where he'll deliver remarks on a plan to create jobs and "help America build back better."

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 12,051,561 — Total deaths: 549,735 — Total recoveries — 6,598,230Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 3,055,144 — Total deaths: 132,309 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 37,532,612Map.
  3. 2020: Houston mayor cancels Texas Republican convention.
  4. Public health: Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  5. Travel: United warns employees it may furlough 45% of U.S. workforce How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  6. Education: New York City schools will not fully reopen in fallHarvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes.