Chilean astronomers report key finding on planet formation


The article shows for the first time in a “robust” way the “gravitational instabilities in action”, that is, in Paneque’s words, it was like “catching the system red-handed.”

According to the academic from the University of Chile, for the formation of planets two main mechanisms are thought: first, the accretion -growth of a body by aggregation of smaller bodies- of small particles that are gathering; second, gravitational instabilities, efficient for giant planet shapes.

“As this disk -of Elías 2-27- is under that process, what one would expect is that these spirals fragment and form giant planets. In any case, this does not exclude the possibility that small planets will also form, “he says.

Currently, the young astronomer, who is doing her doctorate at the European Southern ObservatoryIn his first research project, he will address the molecular composition of the Elías 2-27 album.

We want to understand what are the main ‘ingredients’ to form planets, know their chemical reservoir and see their differences and similarities with other protoplanetary disks. This would also allow to contribute in the knowledge on the development of the life in the planets, added.

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