Jun 13

ALMA Discovers Comet Factory

Source: ESO Science Release eso1325

Artist’s impression of the dust trap in the system Oph-IRS 48.
Image credits: ESO/L.Calçada.

Astronomers using the new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have imaged a region around a young star where dust particles can grow by clumping together. This is the first time that such a dust trap has been clearly observed and modelled. It solves a long-standing mystery about how dust particles in discs grow to larger sizes so that they can eventually form comets, planets and other rocky bodies. The results are published in the journal Science on 7 June 2013. (read more)

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