TECH

Birth Of A Solar System Seen In Stunning New Pictures

07/11/2014 13:35 GMT | Updated 07/11/2014 13:59 GMT

A 'revolutionary' new picture has captured an early solar system in stunning detail showing 'baby' planets still forming among the dust clouds that surround the star.

Called HL Tauri, its a newborn star system that was captured by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile.

Despite being 450 light years away the array was still able to capture the star system in stunning detail showing a glowing orange disc with what appear to be rings.

hl tauri

Those rings are actually forming planets, something which has come as a bit of a shock to astronomers around the world.

Catherine Vlahakis, ALMA Deputy Program Scientist explains:

“HL Tauri is no more than a million years old, yet already its disc appears to be full of forming planets. This one image alone will revolutionize theories of planet formation.”

Capturing a newborn star system in such detail would have been its own reward but the discovery of already-forming planets is being considered as a milestone in understanding how solar systems are formed.