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The ALMA image showed gaps in the disk, presumably caused by planet-like bodies sweeping out the dust along their orbits. This image, showing in real life what theorists had proposed for years
The new VLA images revealed a distinct clump of dust in the inner region of the disk. The clump, the scientists said, contains roughly 3 to 8 times the mass of the Earth. "We believe this clump of dust represents the earliest stage in the formation of protoplanets, and this is the first time we've seen that stage," said Thomas Henning, of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA).
"This is an important discovery, because we have not yet been able to observe most stages in the process of planet formation," said Carlos Carrasco-Gonzalez from the Institute of Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics (IRyA) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). "This is quite different from the case of star formation, where, in different objects, we have seen stars in different stages of their life cycle. With planets, we haven't been so fortunate, so getting a look at this very early stage in planet formation is extremely valuable," he added.
By combining signals recorded from radio antennas on Earth and in space – effectively creating a telescope of almost 8-Earth-diameters in size – scientists have, for the first time, gotten a look at fine structure in the radio-emitting regions of quasar 3C273, which was the first quasar known and is still one of the brightest quasars known. The result has been startling, violating a theoretical upper temperature limit.
originally posted by: MarioOnTheFly
a reply to: swanne
There is nothing like a model being proven correct by nothing less than pictures of the actual event! We can finally witness the birth of worlds!
You mean...pictures of flat earth panels being assembled ?
originally posted by: Balans
That looks utterly amazing. Thanks for posting it!
I do have a noob question
Those inner lines represent the wake of a planet streaming through the dust, why does it look evenly cleared out in the whole 360°? Wouldn't there be some kind of relapse of dust towards the center star again?
However, modern advances in receiver and computing technology have catapulted over those years. Scientists here felt that an overhaul of the guts of the antennas and the installation of a fiber-optically fed supercomputer would turn the VLA into a state-of-the-art instrument once again.
[T]he international team used the Earth-to-Space Interferometer RadioAstron. The interferometer consists of an orbiting radio telescope working together with the largest ground telescopes: the 100-meter Effelsberg Telescope, the 110-m Green Bank Telescope, the 300-m Arecibo Observatory, and the Very Large Array. Operating together, these observatories provide the highest direct resolution ever achieved in astronomy, thousands of times finer than the Hubble Space Telescope.