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APOD: 2023 October 17 ┴ PDS 70: Disk, Planets, and Moons
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APOD: 2023 October 17 ┴ PDS 70: Disk, Planets, and Moons
Credit & Copyright: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); M. Benisty et al.
Explanation: It's not the big ring that's attracting the most attention. Although the big planet-forming ring around the star PDS 70 is clearly imaged and itself quite interesting. It's also not the planet on the right, just inside the big disk, that┴s being talked about the most. Although the planet PDS 70c is a newly formed and, interestingly, similar in size and mass to Jupiter. It's the fuzzy patch around the planet PDS 70c that's causing the commotion. That fuzzy patch is thought to be a dusty disk that is now forming into moons -- and that had never been seen before. The featured image was taken in 2021 by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) of 66 radio telescopes in the high Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Based on ALMA data, astronomers infer that the moon-forming exoplanetary disk has a radius similar to our Earth's orbit, and may one day form three or so Luna-sized moons -- not very different from our Jupiter's four.

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: extrasolar planet
Publications with words: extrasolar planet
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