The rare molecule weighing in on the birth of planets

Astronomers using one of the most advanced radio telescopes have discovered a rare molecule in the dust and gas disc around a young star—and it may provide an answer to one of the conundrums facing astronomers.

Atmosphere of mid-size planet revealed by Hubble and Spitzer

Two NASA space telescopes have teamed up to identify, for the first time, the detailed chemical "fingerprint" of a planet between the sizes of Earth and Neptune. No planets like this can be found in our own solar system, ...

Plant seeding and panspermia

The first detection of an interstellar asteroid/comet-like object visiting the Solar system two years ago has sparked ideas about the possibility of interstellar travel. New research from the Technion–Israel Institute of ...

Are brown dwarfs failed stars or super-planets?

Brown dwarfs fill the "gap" between stars and the much smaller planets—two very different types of astronomical objects. But how they originate has yet to be fully explained. Astronomers from Heidelberg University may now ...

Retreating snow line reveals organic molecules around young star

Astronomers using ALMA have detected complex organic molecules around the young star V883 Ori. A sudden outburst from this star is releasing molecules from the icy compounds in the planet-forming disk. The chemical composition ...

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