The Origin of Worlds: Astrophysicists Zero in on How Planets Form

THE SECRETS OF PLANET FORMATION are becoming harder to keep. In November, using a new observing method, scientists snapped the very first pictures of an extrasolar planet still gathering up mass from its dusty, planetary nursery. Called LkCa 15 b, this immature gas giant has opened a window into the poorly understood process of how planets form.
In January, The Kavli Foundation spoke with three planetary formation experts. The discussion covered promising new ways of studying how giant planets form and whether they can explain the rise of our entire Solar System.__The KAVLI Foundation


Hubble Directly Measures Rotation of Cloudy ‘Super-Jupiter’

Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have been able to pick up the faint infrared glow of a giant planet located 170 light-years away from Earth. Not only is it glowing, but also rhythmically flickering as the planet spins on its axis like a top._HUBBLESITE

The quantum source of space-time

Many physicists believe that entanglement is the essence of quantum weirdness — and some now suspect that it may also be the essence of space-time geometry._Ron Cowen/Nature

The birth of monsters

ESO’s VISTA survey telescope has spied a horde of previously hidden massive galaxies that existed when the Universe was in its infancy. By discovering and studying more of these galaxies than ever before, astronomers have, for the first time, found out exactly when such monster galaxies first appeared._ESO

Cosmography of OB stars in the solar neighbourhood

Scientific Article: We construct a 3D map of the spatial density of OB stars within 500 pc from the Sun using the Hipparcos  catalogue and find three large-scale stream-like structures that allow a new view on the solar neighbourhood. The spatial coherence of these blue streams and the monotonic age sequence over hundreds of parsecs suggest that they are made of young stars, similar to the young streams that are conspicuous in nearby spiral galaxies._ Astronomy & Astrophysics

Unraveling the history of galaxies

[…] By observing the sky as it is today, and peering back in time using the Hubble and Herschel telescopes, the team have shown that a large proportion of galaxies have undergone a major ‘metamorphosis’ since they were initially formed after the Big Bang […] _ Cardiff University