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Imaging of Planets Embedded in a Protoplanetary Disk

Astronomers at The University of Arizona, including Glenn Schneider, Olivier Guyon, and Kevin Wagner, were recent co-authors on a study that used the Subaru/SCExAO instrument along with the Hubble Space Telescope to uncover some of the first images of a planet (the planet is at the center-bottom in the cover photo to our web story) in the process of forming within its protoplanetary disk. AB Aurigae b, at 90 au from the star and still embedded within its disk, is seen driving spiral arms and clearing an inner gap within the disk of gas and dust. This giant planet is among the youngest known and provides an opportunity to learn about how very massive planets form and interact with their parent disks.

AB Aurigae b is the first planet discovered by SCExAO at the Subaru telescope, which was led and developed by Professor Guyon. Images from the HST work can be seen HERE. For moreinformation, see the original paper (Currie et al. 2022, can't be seen without a subscription to Nature) HERE and the University of Arizona press release HERE.

The Sky and Telescope story is HERE.  

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