For the first time ever, astronomers have directly observed planets in the process of being born.

Scientists have photographed a gas-giant exoplanet forming around a young star called LkCa 15, which lies about 450 light-years from Earth.

“It’s exciting, because it’s the first time that we’ve been able to image forming planets directly,” study lead author Stephanie Sallum, a graduate student at the University of Arizona, told Space.com. “It gives us a system to follow up in the future, in depth, to really understand the details of how planets form.”

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