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Alma Observatory may have caught a giant, faraway planet in the act of growing moons

Alma Observatory may have caught a giant, faraway planet in the act of growing moons

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A dusty shroud around a far-off planet may represent the humble beginnings of a brand-new moon. In a possible first, a giant, faraway planet may have been caught in the act of growing moons. Seen in an image from the ALMA Observatory in Chile, the young planet orbits a small star roughly 370 light-years away, and it appears to be swaddled in a dusty, gassy disk — the exact type of structure scientists think produced Jupiter’s many moons billions of years ago. “It’s quite possible there might be planet-size moons in formation around it,” study leader Andrea Isella of Rice University says in a statement. “It’s certainly plausible that giant planets could have giant moon-forming disks around them,” says Stanford University’s Bruce Macintosh of the observation, published this week in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. “It’s an intriguing and quite possible result.”
Source: Alma Observatory may have caught a giant, faraway planet in the act of growing moons

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