Last Week’s Top 5 Space & Science Headlines

 

ESO Headquarters Chile

 

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“Safe Haven” –ALMA Observatory Unveils Earth-Like Planet Creation in Alien Star Systems

protoplanetary disk

 

Astronomers have long puzzled over a paradox of planet creation: once dusty bodies grow to about one centimeter in diameter the dynamics of a smooth protoplanetary disk would induce them to fall in on their host star, never acquiring the mass necessary to form potentially habitable planets like Mars, Venus, and Earth.

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“Hidden from Sight” –Alien Planets Orbiting Young Stars

protoplanetary disks

 

“Most previous observations had been targeted to detect the presence of very massive planets, which we know are rare, that had carved out large inner holes or gaps in bright disks,” said Paola Pinilla, a NASA Hubble Fellow at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory. “While massive planets had been inferred in some of these bright disks, little had been known about the fainter disks.”

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“An Illusion?”–ESO Image of Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

 

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“Self-Regulating Objects” –Powerful ‘Wind of Molecules’ Detected in a Galaxy 12 billion Light-Years Away

 

“Galaxies are complicated, messy beasts, and we think outflows and winds are critical pieces to how they form and evolve, regulating their ability to grow,” said astronomer Justin Spilker at the University of Texas.

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