protoplanetary disk

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

by Shannon Hall February 5, 2014

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 close enough to touch. Of course such a discovery has led to a heated […]

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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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