back to article Astroboffins spot planets swimming in the mists of forming stars

Scientists have found a trio of baby planets using a new technique of spotting unusual gas motion around developing stars. The new technique described in a pair of papers in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. It’s the first time it’s been used to find planets and has spotted three around the newborn star codenamed HD163296. …

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If it hasn't cleared it's orbit yet, then it isn't a planet yet.

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And just to confuse matters...

...its orbit is not around a star yet.

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> Most exoplanets are detected using the transit method. It measures a star’s brightness and looks out for the characteristic dip when a planet crosses its path and blocks out its light. Although it has been very successful at uncovering thousands of new exoplanets, it cannot be used to find ones around protostars.

Nor can it be used to find planets whose orbital period is greater than the period of observation such as planets like Saturn (29 years), unless they are very very lucky.

Nor can it be used to find planets whose orbital plane doesn't interpose itself between the parent star and Earth. Which, statistically, is probably most of them.

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"Nor can it be used to find planets whose orbital plane doesn't interpose itself between the parent star and Earth. Which, statistically, is probably most of them."

From which we can reasonably infer from the fact that we find planets so regularly, all stars must have at least a few.

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Unusual gas patterns around Uranus?

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"Earth-mass planets are too small in mass and they won't be able to clear its orbit."

So like Pluto, Earth shouldn't be classified as a planet.

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