View Full Version : Discussion: Planetary Systems Seen Forming

2004-Dec-10, 05:09 PM
SUMMARY: Both Hubble and the Spitzer Space Telescope have provided astronomers with a view of planetary systems forming around other stars similar to our own Sun. Hubble viewed a young star, only 50 to 250 million years old, which could have gas giants, but its rocky planets would still be forming. This could be a view into what our Solar System looked like when it was first forming. Spitzer found 6 much older stars with planetary disks; closer to 4 billion years old, which is the age of our Sun. These stars are known to have gas giants, and probably have rocky planets as well.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/planetary_systems_seen_forming.html)

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2004-Dec-10, 05:21 PM
The more and closer we look, the more planets or their building blocks we see. Two of the Drake Equation variables are slowly coming into focus. (number of stars with planets, number of Earth-like planets)

2004-Dec-11, 06:16 AM
EXcellent news for those who like to daydream about other planetary systems. This is not at all a surprising find, but a necessary one to help build on prevailing theories of planetary system formation. Now we can see an intermediate step between very young systems and mature systems like our own.