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Previously Unseen Stage of Planet Formation Observed

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the fully-operational-battleplanets dept.

Space 20

SchrodingerZ writes "Seen from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile; scientists have detected a gas giant planet focusing material from a gas cloud toward a main star. The star, HD 142527, is a young 2 million years old, and is 450 light-years from Earth. The system has 'A disk of spinning dust and gas left over from its formation... and from this material, planets are being created.' The planetesimals are drawing material from the dust cloud inward, effectively fueling the expansion of the parent star, currently twice the size of our own Sun. 'Theoretical simulations have predicted such bridges between outer and inner portions of disks surrounding stars, but none have been directly observed until now.' Simon Casassus, lead scientist at the University of Chile, said, 'Currently, the only mechanism known to produce such gap-crossing dense molecular flows, with residual carbon monoxide gas more diffusely spread out inside the gap, is planetary formation.' While the planets currently are not visible, their presence is very noticeable. More examination of the dust cloud is needed to precisely pinpoint the planet(s)."

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20 comments

Very cool! (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42475019)

Proof of how nature abhors a vacuum.

Re:Very cool! (5, Informative)

alendit (1454311) | about a year and a half ago | (#42475227)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_space#Intergalactic [wikipedia.org]

Present estimates put the average energy density of the Universe at the equivalent of 5.9 protons per cubic meter, including dark energy, dark matter, and ordinary, baryonic matter, or atoms.

The Nature IS vacuum.

Re:Very cool! (1)

jovius (974690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42476309)

The direction of the density change also indicates that there's some kind of a vacuum cleaning operation going on.

Re:Very cool! (2)

fatphil (181876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42481583)

I thought that could only occur within a dyson sphere?

Re:Very cool! (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42476017)

If nature abhorred a vacuum, it wouldn't be condensing planets out of dust and gas, leaving behind "more" vacuum ;)

Re:Very cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42476241)

If nature liked vacuum we wouldn't have matter to begin with.

Please let warp drive work in my lifetime (3, Insightful)

eksith (2776419) | about a year and a half ago | (#42475245)

So I can at least get live pictures of things like this happening close-up at least before I die

Re:Please let warp drive work in my lifetime (2)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year and a half ago | (#42475751)

Technically, it happened 450 years ago, so who knows what it looks like now? (I know, I know, 1 light-year =/= a year. If someone can give me proper calculations, it would be appreciated)

Re:Please let warp drive work in my lifetime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42475923)

Who cares about pictures, a warp flight means the Vulcans will show up. I can't wait.

Re:Please let warp drive work in my lifetime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42476025)

If you approached this system at some significant percentage of the speed of light it would appear to be forming in fast-forward. :)

Re:Please let warp drive work in my lifetime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42477015)

You may also get an interesting amount of blue shift.

Lucky bastards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42475345)

This is one hell of a discovery. I imagine that anyone that can observe this system will be planning to take a look pretty soon. How often do you get to see a solar system forming close enough to potentially study the planets and observe the gas flows?

Let me repeat: lucky fucking bastards.

sigh (1, Informative)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year and a half ago | (#42475791)

Astronomy has become such a dead subject on slashdot. Perhaps if someone discovered bitcoins, raspberry pis, or Windows 8 in another stolar system it will become popular again.

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42477117)

how to get coverage:

1 - classify this planet formation as secret
2- release the info via wikileaks

No more science articles please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42476415)

Can we get back to movie and video game reviews? Or maybe an article we can use to bash MS/Apple/Amazon?
 
Science isn't fun to discuss. It's just a bunch of blah blah blah. Give us our old Slashdot back.

Re:No more science articles please. (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42479959)

I swear, one day soon I'm going to submit 2 story titles with no story to them, and I bet that they'll get hundreds of replies... "Apple Patent Case" & "Windows 8".

original post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42476923)

http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1301/ [eso.org]
The original post, which includes the *real* image -not many pixels, but real ones!
SouthX

Observation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42477071)

I observed an unseen formation on Uranus.

Re:Observation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42479979)

I observed an unseen formation on Uranus.

Thank you. I've made a doctors appointment.

Take that Christians! The Big Bang Theory is true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42484509)

Subject says it all.
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