Using the Spitzer Telescope and analysis tools has allowed NASA artists
to present the above picture of a possible planet forming incident....
read on for what NASA thinks.
Spirals seem to be key agents in some
galaxies and in nature. The above picture shows the exponential
growth of the material around the formation
According to NASA ---
This artist's conception shows a lump of material in a swirling,
planet-forming disk. Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope
found evidence that a companion to a star -- either another star or a
planet -- could be pushing planetary material together, as illustrated
Planets are born out of spinning disks of gas and dust. They can carve
out lanes or gaps in the disks as they grow bigger and bigger.
Scientists used Spitzer's infrared vision to study the disk around a
star called LRLL 31, located about 1,000 light-years away in the IC 348
region of the constellation Perseus. Spitzer's new infrared observations
reveal that the disk has both an inner and outer gap.
What's more, the data show that infrared light from the disk is changing
over as little time as one week -- a very unusual occurrence. In
particular, light of different wavelengths seesawed back and forth, with
short-wavelength light going up when long-wavelength light went down,
and vice versa.
According to astronomers, this change could be caused by a companion to
the star (illustrated as a planet in this picture). As the companion
spins around, its gravity would cause the wall of the inner disk to
squeeze into a lump. This lump would also spin around the star,
shadowing part of the outer disk. When the bright side of the lump is on
the far side of the star, and facing Earth, more infrared light at
shorter wavelengths should be observed (hotter material closer to the
star emits shorter wavelengths of infrared light). In addition, the
shadow of the lump should cause longer-wavelength infrared light from
the outer disk to decrease. The opposite would be true when the lump is
in front of the star and its bright side is hidden (shorter-wavelength
light would go down, and longer-wavelength light up). This is precisely
what Spitzer observed.