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Planets Still Forming Detected in a Protoplanetary Disk

15 Jun 2018, 16:20 UTC
Planets Still Forming Detected in a Protoplanetary Disk NRAO/AUI/NSF; S. Dagnello

Just as the number of planets discovered outside our solar system is large and growing — more than 3,700 confirmed at last count — so too is the number of ingenious ways to find exoplanets ever on the rise.

The first exoplanets were found by measuring the “wobble” in their host stars caused by the gravitational pull of the planets, then came the transit technique that measured dips in the light from stars as planets passed in front of them, followed by the direct imaging of moving objects deemed to be planets, and numerous more.

A new technique can now be added to the toolkit, one that is useful only in specific galactic circumstances but is nonetheless ingenious and intriguing.

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