11 Nov 2014

The birth of a solar system

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 2:10 pm on 11 November 2014

Astronomers have taken the best image yet of the birth of a solar system. Researchers captured the image while testing new high-resolution capabilies on the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile. They pointed the Array, known as ALMA for short, at a star called HL Tau which is 450 light years from Earth and were amazed by what they saw. A glowing disc of dust with dark rings where planets still in the process of formation are sweeping away the dust in their orbit.

Get the new RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)