What Are the Spiral Patterns in Dust Around Young Stars?

A team of astronomers is proposing that huge spiral patterns seen around some newborn stars, merely a few million years old (about one percent our sun’s age), may be evidence for the presence of giant, unseen planets.

This idea not only opens the door to a new method of planet detection, but also could offer a look into the early formative years of planet birth.

The first planet orbiting a normal star was identified in 1995. Thanks to ground-based telescopes and NASA’s Kepler mission, a few thousand exoplanets have been cataloged to date. But because the planets are in mature systems, many millions or a few billion years old, they offer little direct clues as to how they formed.

Please join +Tony Darnell Dr.+Carol Christian and +Scott Lewis as they discuss what this means for finding exoplanets with the astronomers of the study.

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