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One of Ten Billion EarthsHow we Learn about our Planet's Past and Future from Distant Exoplanets$
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Karel Schrijver

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198799894

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198799894.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 September 2021

The Birth of Stars and Planets

The Birth of Stars and Planets

(p.167) 5 The Birth of Stars and Planets
One of Ten Billion Earths

Karel Schrijver

Oxford University Press

Exoplanets were discovered only a century after the true nature of stars was revealed, and yet—as explained in this chapter—their existences are inseparably linked. The birth of stars in densely packed nurseries obscured by gas and dust initially hid how planetary systems formed around these stars. With powerful new telescopes, capable of looking from the infrared to X-rays, a complete picture has emerged. But first, astronomers had to work out the properties of the stars themselves so that eventually their planetary systems could be understood: planets can change orbits, toss asteroids about to fracture budding planets or strip them of their atmospheres, and can deliver precious water. Giant planets need the icy cold of distant space far from their stars in order to take shape fast enough to capture large amounts of gas, so how can it be that many are found close to their stars?

Keywords:   stars, nuclear fusion, formation of stars; planetary system formation, astronomical distances, star clusters, ice lines, giant planet formation, orbit migration, scientific method

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