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Space Science

Nearby Star Could Host a Baby Solar System 24

Posted by Soulskill
from the discovered-spamming-facebook-feed-with-baby-pictures dept.
astroengine writes "With the help of Europe's Herschel Space Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, a team of astronomers have made a lucky discovery about TW Hydrae, the nearest star to the solar system that plays host to a protoplanetary disk. Not only have they gained a more precise estimate of the mass of the material inside the protoplanetary disk, they've also found that it may produce a system of worlds similar to that of the solar system. TW Hydrae may look like the solar system did over 4 billion years ago (abstract). Interestingly, TW Hydrae is also a star that would normally be considered too mature to host a protoplanetary disk. "If there's no chance your project can fail, you're probably not doing very interesting science. TW Hydrae is a good example of how a calculated scientific gamble can pay off," said Thomas Henning, of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg."
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Nearby Star Could Host a Baby Solar System

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  • This is exciting. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sheetrock (152993) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:28PM (#42741791) Homepage Journal
    Typically, you only get one of these around a newly formed star, a T Tauri star, or Herbig Ae/Be star. This discovery really broadens the scope for the types of stars that could yield solar systems like our own, and maybe in turn, the likelihood for finding some sort of extraterrestrial life.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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