Disk Gaps

NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)
November 2, 2015
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NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)

This artist's concept illustrates a solar system that is a much younger version of our own. Dusty disks, like the one shown here circling the star, are the breeding grounds of planets. When visible or near-infrared observations show a gap in a disk like this, it is often interpreted as evidence for an unseen planet. However, new research shows that a gap could be a sort of cosmic illusion and not the sign of a hidden planet after all.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)