nov 292012
 
Dust Grains in Protoplanetary Disks Form Fully-Grown Planets

  An international team of researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and the Japanese universities of Kobe, Hyogo, and Saitama used the Subaru Telescope to capture a clear image of the protoplanetary disk of the star UX Tauri A. The team’s subsequent, detailed study of the disk’s characteristics suggests that its dust [continue reading]

mei 302012
 
Rosetta flyby uncovers complex history of asteroid Lutetia

  The long and tumultuous history of asteroid (21) Lutetia is revealed by a comprehensive analysis of the data gathered by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft when it flew past this large main-belt asteroid on 10 July 2010. New studies have revealed the asteroid’s surface morphology, composition and other properties in unprecedented detail. In particular, extensive studies [continue reading]

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]

apr 062012
 
Team finds asteroids were bombarded by iron loving elements too

A team made up of a diverse group of researchers has found after studying the composition of several asteroids that most such planetesimals had an abundance of highly siderophile elements in their mantles suggesting, as the team writes in their paper published in the journal Science, that they were subject to the same inner solar [continue reading]