October 5th, 2007

Earth-from-space

Astro-image of the day: planet-forming disk

This just in:

An Earth-like planet is likely forming 424 light-years away in a star system called HD 113766, say astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Scientists have discovered a huge belt of warm dust - enough to build a Mars-size planet or larger - swirling around a distant star that is just slightly more massive than our sun. The dust belt, which they suspect is clumping together into planets, is located in the middle of the system's terrestrial habitable zone. This is the region around a star where liquid water could exist on any rocky planets that might form. Earth is located in the middle of our sun's terrestrial habitable zone.


And here it is:

Click the image to see the story.

Best,
Chris