Infant Solar Systems May Exist in Space
by TwoFrogs 08:29PM Thursday Jan 09 2003
Shaped like cocoons, distant objects now seen more clearly by astronomers may be infant solar systems struggling to survive in the blast of radiation coming from nearby massive stars.
New telescope studies of two star groups, the Orion Nebula and the Carina Nebula, have captured clear images of the objects, called proplyds, and support the belief that they are young solar systems in the process of evolving.
But many of them are having a tough time because blistering ultraviolet radiation from nearby massive stars is boiling away the gas and dust critical to formation of solar systems, said Ralph Shuping, an astronomer at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studied Orion.AP News