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Interstellar
Four Jupiter-mass clumps formed on Saturn-like orbits after 215 years of evolution of an initially smooth disk of gas and dust in orbit around a red dwarf star with a mass half that of our Sun. Purple denotes regions with high gas density in the midplane of the planet-forming disk, while red regions denote low gas density. The red dwarf lies unseen at the center of the disk. These protoplanets would all be stripped down to super-Earths if this planetary system formed close to a massive star. Credit: Carnegie Institution

01/14/09

 



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