Snapshot: ALMA spots moon-forming disk around distant exoplanet

Astronomers have captured the first clear shot of a moon-forming disk around a distant exoplanet. The image above, taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), shows a wide view of the star PDS 70 (center), as well as the bright ring of material, called a circumstellar disk, surrounding it. Inside the young system, just to the right of the star, is a Jupiter-like exoplanet, PDS 70 c, sporting its own disk — this one called a circumplanetary disk. The researchers say this stellar snapshot serves as the first unambiguous detection of a circumplanetary disk capable of brewing its own moon. They suspect that the amount of material surrounding PDS 70 c is enough to create three Moon-sized satellites.

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