Planets and their sun grow together

Planets and their sun grow together

Radio telescopes reveal how nascent bodies funnel gas to their parent star

By Alexandra Witze, 12:56 PM January 2, 2013

Some 450 light-years from Earth, embryonic planets may be feeding tendrils of gas to the newborn star they orbit. The discovery helps explain how a young star can grow even as budding planets suck up much of the gas and dust around it. Without the tendrils replenishing it, the star’s supply of gas would disappear in less than a year.

Jupiter and Saturn may have done something similar for the sun in its early days, 4.5 billion years ago. “This is one of the nearest examples of the birth of a...

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