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]

jan 312013
 
Is Nearby Star Forming Planets Like Those in our Solar System?

  Using ESA’s Herschel Space Telescope, astronomers including Thomas Henning from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg have used a new method to determine the mass of the planetary nursery around the star TW Hydrae. At a distance of merely 176 light-years from Earth, this is the closest star that is currently forming [continue reading]