Search
University of Copenhagen/Lars Buchhave
Tech

Strange Stellar Spirals Could Hide Baby Exoplanets

Ripple patterns in the dust around young stars may show off where giant planets are lurking.

November 17, 2015
2:40 PM EST
A protoplanetary disc around MWC 758, a young star, based on observations from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope. The spiral arms are each about 10 billion miles long, or more than three times the diameter of Neptune's orbit. | NASA, ESA, ESO, M. Benisty et al. (University of Grenoble), R. Dong (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), and Z. Zhu (Princeton University)
This computer model attempts to duplicate the structure seen in MWC 758. The "X" marked in the picture is where a planet supposedly lurks, unseen among all the dust and creating the arms. | NASA, ESA, ESO, M. Benisty et al. (University of Grenoble), R. Dong (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), and Z. Zhu (Princeton University)