Research Reports

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Why do asteroids in the solar system have the sizes we observe? Two researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have found an answer to that fundamental question: For the birth planets and planet precursors in our solar system 4.5 billion years ago, turbulence played a key role, helping to bring together pebble-like objects to form larger aggregations known as planetesimals. The presence of turbulence also sets a minimal mass and thus a minimal size for the resulting objects. From this model, the two researchers can predict the size distribution of the remaining objects of this type in the present solar system, namely the asteroids.
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Astronomers discover the most distant radio-loud quasar currently known more

A hot super-Earth in our neighbourhood promises to be a suitable candidate to test rocky planet atmosphere models. more

Astronomers detect ring structures in the planet forming disks of young, very low-mass stars. more

Astronomers find a cosmic horseshoe around a young star, a possible brick factory for building planets. more

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