What a cute baby. . .solar system

The folks at Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) just released an insanely detailed image of a developing star and the surrounding disc of material that may become its planetary system.

Credit: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ); C. Brogan, B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

Credit: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ); C. Brogan, B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

Phil Plait explains why this image is more than aesthetically interesting at Slate.

From what we understand of planet formation, a star and disk this young shouldn’t have a planetary system evolved enough to create these gaps. That’s a bit of a shock. Research published in 2008 also indicated the presence of a new planet, and I’ll be curious to see how this new observation fits in with that work as well. – Phil Plait

HT: Amy Shira Teitel

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