Checking in on the Galaxy

A lot of us are looking for a break from news about masks, gloves, and articles comparing the coronavirus and the flu.  We decided to get our break by zooming away from Earth - about 520 lightyears away to be precise.  That’s the location of a potential new planet.  Scientists using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT) observed a “dense disc of dust and gas” with a twisting spiral structure.  It’s that twist that scientists believe indicates the beginning of a new planet.  Getting a front row seat to the formation of an entire planet seems pretty amazing, but it’s a seat we’ll have to share with our great-great-great-great-etc grandchildren: the process can take a few million years.

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