The Best Baby Picture Ever of a Planetary System

November 6, 2014 1:20 PM

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Astronomers have taken the best picture yet of a planetary system being born. The image, taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the high-altitude desert in Chile, reveals a planet-forming disk of gas around a young, sun-like star, in great detail.

“The first time I saw this image, I thought it was actually probably a simulation—it was way too good,” said Tony Beasley, director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, in a video accompanying a press release. The NRAO helps operate ALMA.

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