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Artwork of a protoplanetary disc

Artwork of a protoplanetary disc

C028/6503

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Credit

MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Astronomers have observed a protoplanetary disc around a star called Sz91, at a distance of 650 light-years from Earth. These are the first observations of such a disc around a star less massive than our Sun. The observations, made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), show a narrow dusty ring with a radius of around 110 astronomical units - more than three times that of Neptune's orbit. The orange areas represent the dust, while the blue shows gas. Planets forming at the centre have carved out a hole in the dust, creating a ring, which the team observed at radio energies.

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