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Podcast: Dust in the Interstellar Wind

  • By Sara Mitchell
  • November 17, 2009
  • Comments Off on Podcast: Dust in the Interstellar Wind

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The makings of new planets lie in dusty, debris-filled disks rotating around stars, held in place and shaped by the influence of their host stars.  But the dust, ice, and small bodies in these planet-forming disks also feel the effects of a system’s motion through space – and interaction with interstellar gas can warp a dusty disk into a weird and unexpected shape.

We spoke with Goddard astrophysicist John Debes about his team’s research into these oddly-shaped disks.  Using the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists are investigating these disks in hopes of finding clues about how other planetary systems are formed – and perhaps even discovering the origins of our own.

Exoplanets and Planetary Formation

Scientists have discovered hundreds of exoplanets – planets orbiting around stars other than our Sun – and the number grows almost every month.  These exoplanets hold a lot of interest for scientists who are interested in learning more about the formation of planets.  While we can’t look back 4.5 billion years to the formation of our own solar system, we can study similar systems and their behavior.  To learn more about exoplanets and related research, visit these sites:

Hosts Sara Mitchell
Francis Reddy
Guest John Debes
Editors Sara Mitchell
Francis Reddy
Theme Music Naked Singularity
Additional Music Kevin MacLeod
Transcript Eric Winter
Maggie Masetti
Website Support Meredith Gibb
Maggie Masetti
Producer Sara Mitchell
Responsible NASA Official Kim Weaver

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