ALMA Spots What May Be the Very First Stages of Planetary Formation

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

The clump of gas ALMA spotted, about as long as the distance between the Sun and Jupiter, may one day become a fully-fledged planet. (Credit: ALMA/ESO/NAOJ/NRAO, Tsukagoshi et al.)

Stars in the early stages of their lives are surrounded by flat disks of dust and gas, spinning slowly around them. Over time, this material clumps together to form planets, or eventually gets blown away by the stellar wind. This process can take millions of years, so astronomers don’t have a way to watch it from

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