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In brief : Happy event

点击量:   时间:2017-04-10 05:02:05

AN elderly star in the constellation Monoceros may be giving birth to planets. Planets normally form from gas and dust around a new-born star. But the Monoceros star may be making planets late in life, as it shrinks from a red giant to a white dwarf. The star has ejected its outer atmosphere. This material would normally dissipate into space, but because the star has a companion star, the material is trapped. “Part of this material is not able to escape, but is stored in a disc around the whole binary system,” says Rens Waters of the University of Amsterdam. His team reports in Nature (vol 391, p 868) that the disc contains pebble-sized silicate grains, the raw material of planets,