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Do Giant Planets Form Quickly Or Slowly?

Date:
May 18, 1998
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
In a paper published in the May 14 issue of Nature, Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Washington explains that by looking for wobbles in young stars, a clear-cut test can be applied that will determine the mechanism through which giant planets form out of the disks of gas and dust that swirl around the youngest stars.

After decades of intensive searching, astronomers have found the first giant planets orbiting around other stars like the Sun. We now know that giant planets similar to Jupiter are not rare in the universe, and exist around a number of stars in the Sun's neighborhood of the galaxy. However, all of these planets are thought to be about as old as the stars around which they orbit, typically billions of years old, like the Sun. These planets are middle-aged, then, as planets go. In order to find out what these planets were like when they were infants, and in particular to learn what processes led to their formation, astronomers need to search for them around much younger stars.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Do Giant Planets Form Quickly Or Slowly?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980518061620.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (1998, May 18). Do Giant Planets Form Quickly Or Slowly?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980518061620.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Do Giant Planets Form Quickly Or Slowly?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980518061620.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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