Latest Circumstellar discs Stories

2005-05-10 12:20:00

Young stars in the Orion Nebula have quite a temper, flashing powerful X-rays every few days. Scientists wonder if such X-ray flares could rough up the calm sea of a proto-planetary disk, and thereby rescue burgeoning planets from certain oblivion. Does a temperamental youth ensure the existence of future planets? NASA -- Orion the Hunter is one of the most easily recognized constellations in the night sky, and lying just beneath his belt is the Orion Nebula, a nursery that cradles about...

2005-04-21 07:38:17

NAOJ -- Detailed new images of the starbirth nursery in the Omega Nebula (M17) have revealed a multi component structure in the envelope of dust and gas surrounding a very young star. The stellar newborn, called M17-SO1, has a flaring torus of gas and dust, and thin conical shells of material above and below the torus. Shigeyuki Sako from University of Tokyo and a team of astronomers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the Japan Aeorospace Exploration Agency, Ibaraki...

2005-04-20 12:10:00

JPL -- NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted what may be the dusty spray of asteroids banging together in a belt that orbits a star like our Sun. The discovery offers astronomers a rare glimpse at a distant star system that resembles our home, and may represent a significant step toward learning if and where other Earths form. "Asteroids are the leftover building blocks of rocky planets like Earth," said Dr. Charles Beichman of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif....

2005-02-15 07:40:00

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A new theory of how planets form finds havens of stability amid violent turbulence in the swirling gas that surrounds a young star. These protected areas are where planets can begin to form without being destroyed. The theory will be published in the February issue of the journal Icarus. "This is another way to get a planet started. It marries the two main theories of planet formation," said Richard Durisen, professor of astronomy and chair of that department at Indiana...

2005-01-10 15:20:00

JPL -- Astronomers say a dusty disc swirling around the nearby star Vega is bigger than earlier thought. It was probably caused by collisions of objects, perhaps as big as the planet Pluto, up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,200 miles) in diameter. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has seen the dusty aftermath of this "run-in." Astronomers think embryonic planets smashed together, shattered into pieces and repeatedly crashed into other fragments to create ever-finer debris. Vega's light heats the...

2004-12-10 00:40:00

JPL -- Two of NASA's Great Observatories, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope, have provided astronomers an unprecedented look at dusty planetary debris around stars the size of our Sun. Spitzer has discovered for the first time dusty discs around mature, Sun-like stars known to have planets. Hubble captured the most detailed image ever of a brighter disc circling a much younger Sun- like star. The findings offer "snapshots" of the process by which our own solar system...

2004-11-26 06:11:22

ESO -- One of the currently hottest astrophysical topics - the hunt for Earth-like planets around other stars - has just received an important impetus from new spectral observations with the MIDI instrument at the ESO VLT Interferometer (VLTI). An international team of astronomers [2] has obtained unique infrared spectra of the dust in the innermost regions of the proto-planetary discs around three young stars - now in a state possibly very similar to that of our solar system in the making,...

Latest Circumstellar discs Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Cosmogony -- Cosmogony is the study of the origins of celestial objects. It is most commonly used to refer to the study of the origin of the solar system. Currently, the most widely accepted theory is that the solar system was formed roughly 5 billion years ago with the collapse of a nebula of gas and dust, likely caused by shock waves generated by a nearby supernova. The solar system would have formed as a member of a star cluster, now long-since dispersed throughout the Milky Way over...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Asteroid Belt -- The Asteroid belt is a region of the solar system falling roughly between the planets Mars and Jupiter where the greatest concentration of asteroid orbits can be found. It is believed that, during the first million years of the solar system history, planets formed by accretion of planetesimals. Ripetute collisions led to the familiar rocky planets and to the gas giant's cores. However, in this zone of the system the strong gravity of Jupiter inhibited the final stages...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Vega -- Vega (Alpha Lyrae) is the lead star in the constellation Lyra, reaching near directly overhead the mid-northern latitudes, during the summer. It's a "nearby star" at only 25 light years distant and together with Arcturus and Sirius, one of the brightest stars in the Sun's neighbourhood. Vega is a vertex of the Summer Triangle. Its spectral class is A0V (Sirius, an A1V, is slightly less powerful) and it's firmly in the main sequence, fusing hydrogen to helium in its core....

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Epsilon Eridani -- Epsilon Eridani is a main-sequence star in the constellation of Eridanus (the river). It is often used in science fiction because it is extremely sunlike, and in the fictional Star Trek universe it is the home sun of the planet Vulcan which is home to Mr. Spock. It is the third closest star visible without a telescope. It has 85% of the Sun's mass, almost that much of its diameter, and 28% of its luminosity. It is 10.5 light years from Earth. Its spectrum is...

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Word of the Day
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'