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23-Oct-04 | Spitzer: planet building “a big mess”

The latest observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope (launched as SIRTF on Delta 300) have shown that “planet building is a big mess,” the product of massive collisions between chunks the size of mountain ranges that generate copious clouds of dust.  The real mystery is why astronomers would have expected less chaotic circumstances — nearly every event in the universe exhibits cataclysmic behaviour, so why not planet formation? (18-Oct-04 NASA Press Release)


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