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Formation of Planets in a Protoplanetary Disk

Formation of Planets in a Protoplanetary Disk
Formation of planets in a protoplanetary disk. (Image credit: University of Copenhagen, Lars A. Buchhave)

Formation of planets in a protoplanetary disk. An artist conception of a newly formed star surrounded by a swirling protoplanetary disk of dust and gas, where debris coalesces to create rocky 'planetesimals' that collide and grow to eventually form planets. The results of this study show that small planets form around stars with a wide range of heavy element content suggesting that their existence might be widespread in the disk of the galaxy.

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