So - and bear with me here - the young planet, which has been given the catchy title PDS 70b, was captured tearing out of the planet forming materials that were swirling around it.
The planet, now known as PDS 70b, is shown orbiting within a huge spinning "protoplanetary disc" of gas and dust, which proves it is continuing to accumulate matter, and so is not yet fully formed. Like life on earth, the planets orbiting other stars throughout the universe are incredibly diverse.
SPHERE uses multi-wavelength observations, a coronagraph and a technique called high-contrast imaging to filter out the signal of faint exoplanets circling bright stars. "This detection.tells us that in a time of only few million years (the star's age is five to six million years), planets can grow to a mass of several Jupiter masses", Keppler said. The exoplanet boasts a surface temperature of roughly 1000 degrees Celsius, more than twice as hot as Mercury, the hottest planet in our solar system.
"These disks around young stars are the birthplaces of planets, but so far only a handful of observations have detected hints of baby planets in them", lead researcher Miriam Keppler said in a statement released with the new image.
Astronomers observing circumstellar disks shredded with gaps, rings and spirals have long thought planet formation could be behind these structures.
Capturing a planet's birth is exceptionally hard because it's often too far away to see on a telescope.
The discovery by two teams of researchers is detailed in two papers published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on Monday. "The problem is that, until now, most of these planet candidates could just have been features in the disk".
Although the planet looks close to its star in the image, it's 1,864,113,576 miles away. The data suggest that the planet's atmosphere is cloudy. The black dot is used to mask the light of its star, which would otherwise overwhelm the image and hide the young planet. Thomas Henning, director at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy said in the statement.