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Pebble-size particles may kick-start planet formation

Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope have discovered that filaments of star-forming gas near the Orion Nebula may be brimming with pebble-size particles--planetary building blocks 100 to 1,000 times larger than the dust grains typically found around protostars. If confirmed, these dense ribbons of rocky material may well represent a new, mid-size class of interstellar particles that could help jump-start planet formation.

Visit Website | Image credit: S. Schnee, et al.; B. Saxton, B. Kent (NRAO/AUI/NSF)