Curved Dotted Line
Curved Dotted Line

The largest batch of planet components is found around a young star.  

Astronomers believed they found the largest amount of planet-forming materials near a young star.  

This week, U.S. and German researchers announced that this massive disk has enough gas and dust to construct super-sized planets in distant orbits. Its diameter is 3,300 times the distance between Earth and the sun.  

The disk around a star 1,000 light-years away, first discovered in 2016, was not proved to be a hotbed for new planets until Hawaii telescope measurements. One light-year is 5.8 trillion miles.  

So large and rich in dust and gas, the building ingredients of planets, scientists can learn more about “the birth and evolution of worlds beyond our own,” said Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics lead author Kristina Monsch.  

Monsch says the photos show a butterfly-shaped protoplanetary disk. She stated the dark, dusty strip in the middle looks like a butterfly's elongated body, the blue and white lobes like wings, and the two slender filaments on top like antennae.  

Monday's Astrophysical Journal Letters reported findings. A second manuscript by the same researchers was accepted.  

Monsch claimed IRAS 23077 is twice as large as the previous record-holder.  

Monsch claimed NASA's Hubble and Webb space observatories may detect Jupiter-sized or larger planets and their formation. Small rocky planets like ours are unlikely to be seen, and much larger planet-forming systems may exist.  


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