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PDS 70

PDS 70 Facts

Information on PDS 70

PDS 70 is a T Tau (Taurus) variable star that came to everyone's attention when it was revealed by the European Southern Observatory (E.S.O.) that they had captured a picture of a baby planet being born. The planet has a mass as big as Jupiter and is as far from the star as Uranus is to the Sun. Not much chance of life there then.

The planet might not be the only planet but it is the only planet we can identify at the moment. Smaller Earth like planets are harder to see but one day, we may discover more planets around the star.

The star is too far to be seen by the naked eye. The map is a rough area of where the star can be located in the constellation of Centaurus in the southern hemisphere.

The black circle in the middle is the star filtered out so that the planet, the orange blob can be clearly seen. The star is a young star, only five to six million years old. For comparison, our Sun is five billion years old. The planet can take up to 120 years to orbit.

More information can be found at The Guardian.

Photo from ESO showing a newborn baby planet.

PDS 70's Alternative Names

PDS 70 has alternative name(s) :- v1032 Cen, V1032 Centauri.

More details on objects' alternative names can be found at Star Names .

Location of PDS 70

The location of the star in the night sky is determined by the Right Ascension (R.A.) and Declination (Dec.), these are equivalent to the Longitude and Latitude on the Earth. The Right Ascension is how far expressed in time (hh:mm:ss) the star is along the celestial equator. If the R.A. is positive then its eastwards. The Declination is how far north or south the object is compared to the celestial equator and is expressed in degrees. For PDS 70, the location is 14h 08m 10.15451 and -41° 23` 52.5766 .

Radial Velocity and Proper Motion of PDS 70

Proper Motion

All stars like planets orbit round a central spot, in the case of planets, its the central star such as the Sun. In the case of a star, its the galactic centre. The constellations that we see today will be different than they were 50,000 years ago or 50,000 years from now. Proper Motion details the movements of these stars and are measured in milliarcseconds. The star is moving -23.82 milliarcseconds/year towards the north and -29.66 milliarcseconds/year east if we saw them in the horizon.

Radial Velocity

The Radial Velocity, that is the speed at which the star is moving away/towards the Sun is 3.13 km/s . When the value is negative then the star and the Sun are getting closer to one another, likewise, a positive number means that two stars are moving away. Its nothing to fear as the stars are so far apart, they won't collide in our life-time, if ever.

Physical Properties (Colour) of PDS 70

PDS 70 Colour and Temperature

PDS 70 has a spectral type of K5 D. This means the star is a orange to red star.

Distance to PDS 70

The Parallax of the star is given as 8.82 which gives a calculated distance to PDS 70 of 369.97 light years from the Earth or 113.43 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 369.97 years to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.

The star is roughly 23,396,453.94 Astronomical Units from the Earth/Sun give or take a few. An Astronomical Unit is the distance between Earth and the Sun. The number of A.U. is the number of times that the star is from the Earth compared to the Sun.

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Additional PDS 70 Facts and Figures

Visual Facts

Primary / Proper / Traditional NamePDS 70
Alternative Namesv1032 Cen, V1032 Centauri
Spectral TypeK5 D
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeStar
ColourOrange to Red
GalaxyMilky Way
Right Ascension (R.A.)14h 08m 10.15451
Declination (Dec.)-41° 23` 52.5766
Distance from Earth8.82 Parallax (milliarcseconds)
 369.97 Light Years
 113.43 Parsecs
 23,396,453.94 Astronomical Units
Proper Motion Dec.-23.82 milliarcseconds/year
Proper Motion RA.-29.66 milliarcseconds/year
Radial Velocity3.13 km/s

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts

Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Sources and Links


Location of PDS 70 in Centaurus

PDS 70 Location in Centaurus

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

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