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Planets Under Construction - Universe Today
Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a massive planetary zone forming around the star system TW Hydrae. By probing this vast disk of material with the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array in the radio spectrum, they have detected that rocks and pebbles extend outward for at least 1.6 billion km (1 billion miles). These chunks of rock will slowly clump together, eventually forming larger and larger planets over millions of years. This is the first time astronomers have seen this intermediate stage, after pure dust, but before planets.