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]

nov 112013
"Old Young" Stars in the Eagle Nebula

  The early stages of a star’s life are critical both for the star and for any future planets that might develop around it. The process of star formation, once thought to involve just the simple coalescence of material under the influence of gravity, actually entails a complex series of stages, with the youngest stars [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]

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]

jul 022013
Evidence for Exoplanet Under Construction Uncovered

  This news item was released during my holiday. You probably heard of it, but in the case you didn’t, here it is.   Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have found compelling evidence of a planet forming 7.5 billion miles away from its star, a finding that may challenge current theories about planet formation. [continue reading]

feb 092013
Arm of Dust in Protoplanetary Disk Indicates Unseen Planets

  An international team of astronomers led by Satoshi Mayama (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Japan) and Ruobing Dong (Princeton University, U.S.A.) has made observations with the Subaru Telescope and captured the first vivid infrared image of a curved arm of dust extending over a hole on a disk around a young star–2MASS J16042165-2130284 [continue reading]