The Fuzz Around PDS 70c

The star PDS 70 is still in the process of planet formation, This image of the system taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array has attracted a lot of interest. It isn’t the large dust ring still undergoing planet formation that’s the main point of interest. It’s not the Jupiter-sized planet PDS 70c (just above 3 o’clock inside the ring) that’s already come together either. It’s the fuzzy dust cloud around that planet that intrigues astronomers. They believe it’s a region of moon formation. The planet may wind up with three of four large moons just like Jupiter’s.

Image Credit: ESO (ALMA) / NAO / NARO

The Case of the Missing Exoplanets

This video simulates the first-ever detection of the aftermath of a planetary collision in another star system. The color-tinted Hubble image on the left is of a vast ring of icy debris encircling the star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away. The animated diagram on the right is a simulation of the expanding and fading cloud of the collision’s debris field. It’s based on Hubble observations taken over a period of several years.

Video Credit: NASA / ESA / A. Gáspár and G. Rieke (University of Arizona)