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Planets take shape in embryonic gas clouds

New theory of planetary formation may explain variety   

6:33pm, March 25, 2011

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A radical new theory that planets are born within a massive veil of gas may help explain how recently discovered extrasolar planets developed their stunning diversity of sizes and locations.

In the theory, planets are born under wraps, hidden at the centers of giant gas clouds far from their parent stars. A star’s gravity then reels in the planetary cloud, stripping away some or all of the gas to reveal the planet inside.

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