Dusty Disks May Reveal Hidden Worlds | Science News



Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


Dusty Disks May Reveal Hidden Worlds

On the trail of extrasolar planets

11:46am, April 30, 2002

Like a crab scuttling through sand, an orbiting planet leaves a telltale trail in the dust surrounding its parent star. Astronomers began scouring nearby stars for such trails nearly 2 decades ago, but telescopes provided only fuzzy images. With the keen-sighted instruments available today, however, the dust trails are coming into sharper focus, opening the way to finding and characterizing the properties of hundreds of planets beyond the solar system.

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content