A World Is Born

5 Jan

A_y4k-QCEAA1_rI.jpg largeAnd, this baby is far from an orphan in the universe.

The orange ring of gas on the outer rim is the “nursery” for a future gas giant, like Jupiter in our solar system. With this discovery of HD 142527, scientists can speculate how Jupiter might have formed.

It goes like this: As the planetary precursor orbits its star, it mooches off the star’s remaining building materials, gathering gas and dust into its own growing form. But the star doesn’t just stand by and let this happen; it would be a short-lived star if it did. The star’s gravity pulls gas from the outer reaches of the star’s disk, through the gap cleared by the gas giant, and into the innermost part of the disk to sustain the star.

It’s like a mother and child fighting over the milk, and both benefit from the contest.

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