Molecular clouds, where new stars are born, are made of two components: gas and dust. The gas is mostly hydrogen, and the dust is made of elements crucial for forming planets and people, like silicon and carbon. Today’s paper shows that these two components behave very differently in a simulated molecular cloud. This could have exciting consequences for the growth of dust and the formation of stars and planets.
Last year, an image was released that took our breath away. Exquisite rings carved in a disk of material around a nearby star. Now, astronomers want to know if forming planets are responsible, and why the image might look different from the cartoon in your textbook.
The authors of today’s paper show that the locations of the protoplanetary gaps in HL Tau are to be expected from the condensation points of common ices in the disk.
Observations of dust near the remains of a supernova in the center of our galaxy could have implications for dust production in the earliest galaxies.
A new model explains Mercury’s major density with magnetism.
Pluto’s small satellites have very low escape velocities, which means that dust kicked up by impacts has a relatively easy time of escaping rather than settling back down to the little moon’s surface. Today’s paper looks at the fates of that dust.