11 Nov 2014

The birth of a solar system

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 2:10 pm on 11 November 2014

Astronomers have taken the best image yet of the birth of a solar system. Researchers captured the image while testing new high-resolution capabilies on the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile. They pointed the Array, known as ALMA for short, at a star called HL Tau which is 450 light years from Earth and were amazed by what they saw. A glowing disc of dust with dark rings where planets still in the process of formation are sweeping away the dust in their orbit.

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