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Planetary Disks Don’t Need Planets To Make Waves

24 Jan 2018, 12:00 UTC
Planetary Disks Don’t Need Planets To Make Waves ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

One of the biggest challenges in astronomy is observing the cold, dark dust surrounding a young star. These planetary disks, as they are known, are the birthplace of planets. Understanding them helps us understand how planetary systems form. But much of the gas and dust is so cold that they emit light mostly in the microwave range, which is difficult to detect. But with the construction of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) we can finally start to see details.

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