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22 Jul, 5 tweets, 4 min read
1/ Astronomers made the first clear detection of a moon-forming disc around an exoplanet, using @ALMAObs , in which ESO is a partner.

Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/Benisty et al.
2/ The disc in question, called a circumplanetary disc, surrounds the exoplanet PDS 70c, one of two giant, Jupiter-like planets orbiting a star nearly 400 light-years away.

Credit: @ESO /L. Calçada, ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/Benisty et al.
3/ Astronomers had found hints of a “moon-forming” disc around this exoplanet before but, since they could not clearly tell the disc apart from its surrounding environment, they could not confirm its detection — until now.

Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/Benisty et al.
4/ The observations will shed new light on how moons and planets form in young stellar systems.

Credit: @ESO , N. Risinger (, DSS, ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/Benisty et al.
Music: Astral electronic.
5. An even deeper understanding of the planetary system will be achieved with ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope #ELT, currently under construction on Cerro Armazones. #BiggestEyeOnTheSky Read more at

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More from @ESO

4 Sep 20
1/20 Happy 20th anniversary UT4! Do you know this giant telescope, part of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at @ESO ’s Paranal Observatory? You might recognise it from its cool lasers pointing at the sky. Does this sound like science fiction? We open this thread to tell the story.
2/20 The 4th Unit Telescope of ESO’s VLT is known as UT4 or Yepun, meaning Venus or evening star in Mapudungun, an indigenous language of Chile. It has a main mirror 8.2 metres in diameter and weighs around 430 tonnes.
3/20 It was given its name by Jorssy Albánez following a contest in 1999. Jorssy was a 17-years-old student from northern Chile at the time.
Read 20 tweets
20 May 20
1/4 Observations with ESO’s SPHERE instrument on the Very Large Telescope have revealed the telltale signs of a star system being born.
Credit: @ESO /Boccaletti et al.… Image
2/4 The young system, AB Aurigae, lies only 520 light-years away from Earth in the Auriga constellation.
Credit: @ESO /Boccaletti et al. /M. Kornmesser
3/4 Around the young star lies a dense disc of dust and gas where astronomers have spotted a prominent spiral structure with a twist that marks the site where a planet may be forming.
Credit: @ESO /Boccaletti et al. Image
Read 4 tweets
13 Jan 20
1/10 All eyes on #Betelgeuse these days. What’s happening to this well-known star in the constellation of #Orion?
2/10 Normally one of the brightest stars in the sky, it’s now fainter than ever before in recorded history.
3/10 Astronomers think the star is preparing to blow, going #supernova. Think cosmic time scales though. This artist’s impression shows #Betelgeuse shedding its material.…
Credit: @ESO /L. Calçada
Read 10 tweets
8 Oct 19
1/ Michel Mayor & Didier Queloz have been awarded the #NobelPrize2019 in Physics for the discovery of the first exoplanet around a Sun-like star.…
2/ The discovery of exoplanet #51Pegasib was announced on 6 October 1995 by Mayor and Queloz, who detected it using the ELODIE spectrograph at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence in France.
3/ The discovery revolutionised astronomy, initiating an entirely new field and new instruments focused on finding and characterising exoplanets.
Read 8 tweets

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