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Centauri Dreams

Protoplanets: The Next Detection Frontier

13 Jun 2018, 16:36 UTC
Protoplanets: The Next Detection Frontier ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/ D. Fedele et al.

Some 4 million years old, the star HD 163296 is about 330 light years out in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. When dealing with stars this young, astronomers have had success with data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), teasing out features in protoplanetary disks filled with gas and dust, the breeding ground of new planets. As seen below, the ALMA imagery can be striking, a closeup look at a stellar system in formation.

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