This cool space wallpaper shows an artist conception of a newly formed star surrounded by a swirling protoplanetary disk of dust and gas, where debris coalesces to create rocky 'planetesimals' that collide and grow to eventually form planets. The results of this study show that small planets form around stars with a wide range of heavy element content suggesting that their existence might be widespread in the disk of the galaxy. More about alien earths
(Image: © University of Copenhagen, Lars A. Buchhave )
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