apr 102012
When Stellar Metallicity Sparks Planet Formation

New research predicts the criteria needed for Earth-like planets to form around a star that have one-tenth the metallicity of our Sun. If researchers find small, rocky planets orbiting stars with lower metallicity, it may challenge the presently accepted “core accretion” model of planetary formation. Artist’s concept showing a young Sun-like star surrounded by a [continue reading]

mrt 152012
Herschel's new view on giant planet formation

Astronomers have used ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory to observe 2M1207, a peculiar brown dwarf with its own circumstellar disc and a planetary companion five times more massive than Jupiter. These new data provide the first image of this system taken at sub-millimetre wavelengths and show that the disc’s mass amounts to a few times the [continue reading]