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Swirling Debris Seen Around Star 

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  #1  
Old 11-03-2011, 08:12 PM
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Swirling Debris Seen Around Star

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This amazing picture of a heavenly spiral may look like our own Milky Way, with its distinctive swirl.
But in fact it's not a galaxy, but a single star - 400 light years away from Earth, in the constellation Lupus - the wolf.
The young star, known as SAO 206462, is surrounded by a disc of gas 14billion miles across - and its gravitational pull has arranged the disc into two spiral arms.
While these spirals are not unknown to astronomers, they are usually found in galaxies made up of millions of stars, not just around a single star.

Swirl: The disk of gas and debris around this star may be in the process of becoming a system of planets:


The unprecedented phenomenon could suggest that gas and debris are being formed into planets orbiting the star.
The image was captured by the Subaru telescope, and eight-metre instrument perched on the summit of Mauna Kea, a volcano in Hawaii.
This unique viewpoint allows the telescope to get a clear view of the night sky.

Researchers are excited about their new discovery, as scientist John Wisniewski told website The Daily Galaxy.
He said: 'What we're finding is that once these systems reach ages of a few million years — that’s young for a star - their discs begin to show all kinds of interesting shapes.
'We’ve seen rings, divots, gaps - and now spiral features. Many of these structures could be caused by planets moving within the discs.'

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  #2  
Old 11-03-2011, 08:37 PM
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Re: Swirling Debris Seen Around Star

I bet Donald Trump is already trying to buy real estate on those planets.

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Old 11-14-2011, 01:54 AM
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Re: Swirling Debris Seen Around Star

I'm always amazed at the study of the universe - thanks for the post!

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