protoplanetary disk

High Potential for Life Circling Alpha Centauri B, our Nearest Neighbor

by Shannon Hall February 5, 2014

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter While exoplanets make the news on an almost daily basis, one of the biggest announcements occurred in 2012 when astronomers claimed the discovery of an Earth-like planet circling our nearest neighbor, Alpha Centauri B, a mere 4.3 light-years away. That’s almost […]

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Here There Be Planets: Stellar Disk Gap May Reveal Newborn Worlds

by Jason Major November 12, 2012

HiCIAO near-infrared image of the protoplanetary disk around PDS 70. The circular mask hides the star itself, as well as a smaller internal disk structure. (Credit: NAOJ) Over the past couple of decades astronomers have figured out several methods for finding planets around other stars in our galaxy. Some have revealed their presence by the […]

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Young Magnetic Star Possesses Precise Carbon Dioxide Ring

by Tammy Plotner January 24, 2012

Catching a ring – or accretion disk – around a star isn’t unusual. However, catching a sharply defined carbon-dioxide ring around a young, magnetic star that’s precisely 1 AU away with a width 0.32 AU or less might raise a few eyebrows. This isn’t just any disk, either… It’s been likened as a “rope-like structure” […]

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Suburu Telescope Captures Hidden Planets In Stellar Dust Ring

by Tammy Plotner January 5, 2012

No. It’s not a new atomic image – it’s a very unusual look at a star which could help further our understanding of stellar disk structure and planetary formation. As part of the SEEDS (Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru Telescope/HiCIAO) project, this image of star HR 4796 was taken with Subaru’s planet-finder […]

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Cosmic Collisions Could Eject Habitable Planets

by Tammy Plotner August 19, 2011

When it comes to solar systems, chances are good that we’re a lot more special than we thought. According to a German-British team led by Professor Pavel Kroupa of the University of Bonn, our orderly neighborhood of varied planet sizes quietly orbiting in a nearly circular path isn’t a standard affair. Their new models show […]

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