dec 272013
 
Dutch Scientists Found Youngest Protoplanetary Disk Ever

  Planets form in disks of gas and dust around a star in the making, but when and how such protoplanetary disks form is still a mystery. Now, by using the ALMA radio telescope, a team of astronomers, led by the Leiden PhD student Nadia Murillo and professor Ewine Dishoeck, has found the youngest protoplanetary disk [continue reading]

dec 062013
 
An Exoplanet Discovered That Shouldn't Be There

  The discovery of a giant planet orbiting its star at 650 times the average Earth-Sun distance has astronomers puzzled over how such a strange system came to be. This is an artist’s conception of a young planet in a distant orbit around its host star. The star still harbors a debris disk, remnant material [continue reading]

okt 162013
 
Distant, Massive Star is About to Explode

  An international team of astronomers has observed part of the final death throes of the largest known star in the Universe as it throws off its outer layers. The discovery, by a collaboration of scientists from the UK, Chile, Germany and the USA, is a vital step in understanding how massive stars return enriched [continue reading]

aug 242013
 
A Baby Star Surrounded by a Fluffy Planet-Forming Disk

  An international team of astronomers that are members of the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru Telescope (SEEDS) Project has used Subaru Telescope’s High Contrast Instrument for the Subaru Next Generation Adaptive Optics (HiCIAO) to observe a disk around the young star RY Tau (Tauri). The team’s analysis of the disk shows [continue reading]

aug 052013
 
A "Second Jupiter" Discovered

  Astronomers in the Strategic Explorations of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru (SEEDS) Project have recently discovered and captured an image of the least massive planet ever imaged so far, a so-called “second Jupiter” (Figure 1). This discovery marks an important step toward the direct imaging of much fainter Earth-like planets in the future and [continue reading]

jul 192013
 
Snow in an Infant Planetary System

  The sight of a snowfall can thrill children, but the first-ever snow line seen around a distant star gives astronomers an even greater thrill because of what it reveals about the formation of planets and our Solar System’s history. Artist concept of snow line in TW Hydrae showing water covered ice grains in the [continue reading]