A planet is born!
The formation of planets is a precarious process. The formation of Earth was largely a game of chance, and only by observing the formation of other planets can we get a clearer picture of our history.
Astronomers have used the European Southern Observatory’s Atacama Large Milimeter/submilimeter Array (ALMA) to image the fascinating protoplanetary disc of AS 209, which is 410-light-years away from Earth. The rings rising from the structure are particularly fascinating, as they show astronomers how gas and dust is shaped in the early ages of a young star, before any planets can be made.