Latest Circumstellar discs Stories

2008-12-12 11:35:00

New research suggests that turbulence plays a critical role in creating ripe conditions for the birth of planets. The study, to be published in The Astrophysical Journal, challenges the prevailing theory of planet formation. Using three-dimensional simulations of the dust and gas that orbits young stars, the study demonstrates that turbulence is a significant obstacle to gravitational instability, the process that scientists have used since the 1970s to explain the early stage of planet...

2008-11-13 15:40:00

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken the first visible-light snapshot of a planet circling another star. Estimated to be no more than three times Jupiter's mass, the planet, called Fomalhaut b, orbits the bright southern star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Australis (the Southern Fish). Fomalhaut has been a candidate for planet hunting ever since an excess of dust was discovered around the star in the early 1980s by NASA's Infrared Astronomy Satellite...

2008-10-27 13:00:00

New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicate that the nearest planetary system to our own has two asteroid belts. Our own solar system has just one.The star at the center of the nearby system, called Epsilon Eridani, is a younger, slightly cooler and fainter version of the sun. Previously, astronomers had uncovered evidence for two possible planets in the system, and for a broad, outer ring of icy comets similar to our own Kuiper Belt.Now, Spitzer has discovered that the...

2008-09-24 11:00:00

Two terrestrial planets orbiting a mature sun-like star some 300 light-years from Earth recently suffered a violent collision, astronomers at UCLA, Tennessee State University and the California Institute of Technology will report in a December issue of the Astrophysical Journal, the premier journal of astronomy and astrophysics. "It's as if Earth and Venus collided with each other," said Benjamin Zuckerman, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy and a co-author on the paper. "Astronomers...

2008-09-22 00:05:00

Enormous masses of dust floating around a binary star system suggest that two Earth-like planets demolished each other in a violent collision. "It's as if Earth and Venus collided with each other," said Benjamin Zuckerman, an astronomer at the University of California Los Angeles, who worked on the study. "Astronomers have never seen anything like this before; apparently major, catastrophic, collisions can take place in a fully mature planetary system." The team from UCLA, Tennessee State...

2008-09-08 10:35:00

Astronomers have been able to study planet-forming discs around young Sun-like stars in unsurpassed detail, clearly revealing the motion and distribution of the gas in the inner parts of the disc. This result, which possibly implies the presence of giant planets, was made possible by the combination of a very clever method enabled by ESO's Very Large Telescope. Planets could be home to other forms of life, so the study of exoplanets ranks very high in contemporary astronomy. More than 300...

2008-07-09 10:52:35

A detailed survey of stars in the Orion Nebula has found that fewer than 10 percent have enough surrounding dust to make Jupiter-sized planets, according to a report by astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Because stars like the sun probably formed in hot open clusters like Orion, the finding suggests that sun-like stars have a low probability of forming planets, or at...

2008-04-10 10:35:00

The image on the left from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the first double-sided X-ray jet ever detected from a young star. A similar jet may have been launched from the young Sun and could have had a significant impact on the early solar system.The young star, named DG Tau, is located in the Taurus star-forming region, about 450 light years from Earth. The bright source of X-rays in the middle of the image is DG Tau and the jet runs from the top left to the bottom right, extending to...

2008-03-13 15:35:00

Researchers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered large amounts of simple organic gases and water vapor in a possible planet-forming region around an infant star, along with evidence that these molecules were created there. They've also found water in the same zone around two other young stars. By pushing the telescope's capabilities to a new level, astronomers now have a better view of the earliest stages of planetary formation, which may help shed light on the origins of our...

2008-02-14 16:05:00

Astronomers have discovered that rocky, terrestrial planets might orbit many, if not most, of the nearby sun-like stars in the disk of our galaxy. These new results suggest that worlds with potential for life are more common that we thought. This release is being issued jointly with the University of Arizona (UA). UA astronomer Michael Meyer (currently on sabbatical at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to determine whether planetary...

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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