Thursday, March 28, 2019


Hey Space Placers!

Dust is EVERYWHERE! You may have thought it was only something you have to contend with in your home, car, everywhere. But dust abounds in the Universe.

Read this exciting story about dust rings that surround Earth, Venus and now Mercury. Astronomers think there may even be undiscovered asteroids responsible for these dust rings - WOW!

Dust rings in the inner solar system
Image credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith

The prevailing theory as to how planets form involves dust and far larger solid fragments that form rings around new born stars. These rings are thought to eventually coalesce into protoplanets and finally planets over time.

A new discovery of just that happening was announced with an accompanying photograph.

Fuzzy concentric rings, the inner one more distinct and brighter, around an orange dot.
ALMA image of the dusty disk around the young star DM Tau. You can see 2 concentric rings, where planets may be forming. Image via ALMA.

With over 4000 planets beyond our solar system having been discovered to date, this is a routine byproduct of stellar birth. It is estimated that a few TRILLION planets orbit the hundreds of BILLIONS of stars in our galaxy alone. Astronomers are discovering more exoplanets almost weekly.

Sky Guy Crossing the Atlantic

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