okt 042012
Nearby Planetary System Hosts Comet Crystals

  Pristine material that matches comets in our own Solar System have been found in a dust belt around the young star Beta Pictoris by ESA’s Herschel space observatory.   Close-up of olivine crystals seen inside a meteorite found on Earth that originated from a partly melted Solar System asteroid. The yellow olivine crystals are [continue reading]

sep 272012
The Sun's Shockwaves Formed the Planets at Different Times

  The early years of our Solar System were a turbulent time, and questions remain about its development. Dr Tagir Abdylmyanov, Associate Professor from Kazan State Power Engineering University, has been researching shockwaves emitted from our very young Sun, and has discovered that these would have caused the planets in our Solar System to form [continue reading]

sep 112012
Planets Can Also Form in the Galactic Center

  At first glance, the center of the Milky Way seems like a very inhospitable place to try to form a planet. Stars crowd each other as they whiz through space like cars on a rush-hour freeway. Supernova explosions blast out shock waves and bathe the region in intense radiation. Powerful gravitational forces from a [continue reading]

aug 062012
How Accurate are the Models of Star- and Planet Formation?

  Stars form when gravitational forces coalesce the gas and dust in interstellar clouds until the material forms clumps dense enough to become stars. Precisely how this happens, however, is still very uncertain. The infall of matter is probably not symmetric, it may be inhibited by the pressure of very hot radiation around the young [continue reading]

jul 182012
Astronomers Explain Earth's Lack of Water

  With large swaths of oceans, rivers that snake for hundreds of miles, and behemoth glaciers near the north and south poles, Earth doesn’t seem to have a water shortage. And yet, less than one percent of our planet’s mass is locked up in water, and even that may have been delivered by asteroids after [continue reading]

jun 142012
Small Planets Around Different Types of Stars Can Be Widespread

  It had previously been thought that planets were more likely to form around a star if the star had a high content of heavier elements. But new research from the University of Copenhagen, among others, shows that small planets can form around very different types of stars – also stars that are relatively poor [continue reading]