Saturday, August 19, 2006

Planet Formation in Orion

The Spitzer Space Telescope has peered into the Orion nebula with striking results: nearly 2300 planet-forming disks in the overall Orion cloud complex, a star-forming region some 1450 light years from Earth. This is where infrared truly shines, for such disks are too small to be seen with visible-light telescopes. But Spitzer is made to order for picking up the infrared signature of warm dust, giving us an unprecedented look at solar system formation in the aggregate.

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