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Latest Circumstellar discs Stories

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2006-10-10 00:35:00

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, in collaboration with ground-based observatories, has provided definitive evidence for the existence of the nearest extrasolar planet to our solar system. The Jupiter-sized world orbits the Sun-like star Epsilon Eridani, which is only 10.5 light-years away (approximately 63 trillion miles). The planet is so close it may be observable by Hubble and large ground-based telescopes in late 2007, when the planet makes its closest approach to Epsilon Eridani during...

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2006-09-29 18:45:00

With the VISIR instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have mapped the disc around a star more massive than the Sun. The very extended and flared disc most likely contains enough gas and dust to spawn planets. It appears as a precursor of debris discs such as the one around Vega-like stars and thus provides the rare opportunity to witness the conditions prevailing prior to or during planet formation. "Planets form in massive, gaseous and dusty proto-planetary discs that...

2006-07-24 13:04:18

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When you're young and single, it's easy to dance fast. But when little ones are on the way, the dance tends to slow down. And so it seems to be with stars and the planet-forming disks that orbit them. Scientists have long reckoned that the disks of gas and dust that can turn into planets might be putting the brakes on young stars, which can spin around in half a day or less if nothing tugs on them, researchers said on Monday. "We knew that something must be...

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2006-07-03 10:18:58

A close look at the protoplanetary disk around a young star by two teams of astronomers using the Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea has led to the unexpected discovery of two banana-shaped arcs facing each other. The disk, which surrounds the star HD142527, also shows a gap that could be the tumultuous birthplace of a planet, and an extended arc that could have formed during a recent encounter with a stellar neighbor. This discovery adds yet more variety to the bewildering diversity of...

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2006-06-27 14:30:00

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has revealed not one but two dust disks circling the nearby star Beta Pictoris. The images confirm a decade of scientific speculation that a warp in the young star's dust disk may actually be a second inclined disk, which is evidence for the possibility of at least one Jupiter-size planet orbiting the star. The disk is fainter than the star because, at the visible wavelengths measured, its dust only reflects light. To see the faint disk, astronomers used Hubble's...

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2006-06-07 07:50:00

Astronomers from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario find that "dead zones"- which typically extend out to 13 astronomical units from the central star of an extrasolar planetary system - can significantly slow planetary migration so that planets are not lost to the systems. This release summarizes work to be described in a press conference at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Calgary, Alberta on June 5, 2006, and in an invited talk at a scientific session during the meeting....

2006-04-05 13:25:00

By Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON -- Planets outside our solar system might form, phoenix-like, out of the debris circling a dead star known as a pulsar, researchers reported on Wednesday after finding the makings for a planet near such a body. This could mean that planet-formation could be more common than previously thought, said Deepto Chakrabarty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "What's remarkable here is this process of planet formation, which we associate with the birth of...

2006-04-05 12:40:00

By Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Planets outside our solar system might form, phoenix-like, out of the debris circling a dead star known as a pulsar, researchers reported on Wednesday after finding the makings for a planet near such a body. This could mean that planet-formation could be more common than previously thought, said Deepto Chakrabarty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "What's remarkable here is this process of planet formation, which we associate with the...

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2006-04-05 13:10:00

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has uncovered new evidence that planets might rise up out of a dead star's ashes. The infrared telescope surveyed the scene around a pulsar, the remnant of an exploded star, and found a surrounding disk made up of debris shot out during the star's death throes. The dusty rubble in this disk might ultimately stick together to form planets. This is the first time scientists have detected planet-building materials around a star that died in a fiery blast. "We're...

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2006-03-21 14:23:06

JAA -- In an article to be published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, two British astronomers present new numerical simulations of how planetary systems form. They find that, in the early stages of planetary formation, giant protoplanets migrate inward in lockstep into the central star. The current picture of how planetary systems form is as follows: i) dust grains coagulate to form planetesimals of up to 1 km in diameter; ii) the runaway growth of planetesimals leads to the formation of...


Latest Circumstellar discs Reference Libraries

8_2c71772f2c3a31994d5208d4518632494
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...

4_2263b8f4e602bddd69c225b3bc2c46aa2
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...

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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....

3_26342a6670b6131c97d5fc3f8796ebd92
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
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'