Icy Debris From A Star In The Neighborhood Of The Solar System Suggests Existence Of New Planet

March 7, 2014 4:27 PM

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Icy Debris From A Star In The Neighborhood Of The Solar System Suggests Existence Of New Planet

According to the space agency, astronomers exploring a disk of gas and dust around a nearby star uncovered a compact cloud of poisonous gas formed by constant collisions among the comet-like bodies. The astronomers suggest that the comet swarm is either the remnant of a crash between two icy worlds resembling Mars, or frozen debris trapped and concentrated by the gravity of an unknown planet.

The astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or ALMA, in Chile, to examine dust and carbon monoxide (CO) molecules in a disk surrounding the bright star, Beta Pictoris, which is only 20 million years old and is located about eight Astronomical Units, or AU (1 AU = 93 million miles) from ...

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