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Ep. 40, Page 63
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Comic 3109 - Ep. 40, Page 63

20th May 2020, 8:16 PM in Episode 40 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
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Author Notes:

smbhax 20th May 2020, 8:16 PM edit delete
The ESO has just released an eye-catching optical image, taken by their SPHERE instrument on the VLT, of bright swirls of gas and dust in the disc of material gathering around the star AB Aurigae, with a "twist" in the swirls suggesting the location of a newly forming planet. Their annotated versions of the photo show the scale the pick out the salient points; the potential planet orbits the star—which is about 2.5 times the mass of our Sun—at a distance roughly equivalent Venus' distance from the Sun.

The ESO spotted first spiral formations in AB Aurigae's protoplanetary disc with their ALMA radio telescope array in 2017; the spirals are what is predicted to form in the wake of a large mass like a proto-planet orbiting through the disc of gas and dust.

AB Aurigae is about 531 light years from Earth.

The original 16" x 6.75" watercolor art for today's new A* page is up for auction on eBay. : )