Exozodiacal Light Hiding Strange New Worlds

November 4, 2014 8:03 AM

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According to a statement from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), exozodiacal light may be hiding Earth-like planets in other solar systems from astronomers. Dust created by colliding asteroids mixes with material from slowly evaporating comets and then reflect the light of nearby stars. Astronomers say this creates a glow known as exozodiacal light, which could hinder the discovery of small exo-planets around alien suns.

A team of scientists from the ESO and the University of Grenoble in France have completed a study on exozodiacal light. Group leader Steve Ertel of ESO and the UG reported using the Very Large Telelscope Interferometer in Chile to observe 92 “relatively nearby” stars.

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