Cockeyed planet nurseries may shape orbits of future solar systems
Exoplanet orbits come in all shapes and sizes, and a pair of nearby stars is helping astronomers figure out why. Cockeyed disks of gas and dust that give rise to planets circle the two stars, new observations show. The misalignment between the two disks might nudge future planets into off-kilter orbits. Researchers hope that the discovery, the first time any one has observed disks with such different tilts, is the first step towards understanding the origin of the diverse planetary arrangements found in the galaxy.