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024504

In this artist's conception, a possible newfound planet spins through a clearing in a nearby star's dusty, planet-forming disc. This clearing was detected around the star CoKu Tau 4 by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers believe that an orbiting massive body, like a planet, may have swept away the star's disc material, leaving a central hole. The possible planet is theorized to be at least as massive as Jupiter, and may have a similar appearance to what the giant planets in our own solar system looked like billions of years ago. A graceful ring, much like Saturn's, spins high above the planet's cloudy atmosphere. The ring is formed from countless small orbiting particles of dust and ice

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024504.jpg
Copyright
Irish Photo Archive
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4890x3668 / 2.5MB
Contained in galleries
historical photos 2
In this artist's conception, a possible newfound planet spins through a clearing in a nearby star's dusty, planet-forming disc. This clearing was detected around the star CoKu Tau 4 by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers believe that an orbiting massive body, like a planet, may have swept away the star's disc material, leaving a central hole.  The possible planet is theorized to be at least as massive as Jupiter, and may have a similar appearance to what the giant planets in our own solar system looked like billions of years ago. A graceful ring, much like Saturn's, spins high above the planet's cloudy atmosphere. The ring is formed from countless small orbiting particles of dust and ice