New study suggests this extremely dense star cluster is stunting planet formation


Using the Hubble Space Telescope researchers have conducted a pioneering 3-year study of the massive dense young star cluster Westerlund 2. In the process, discovering that dense clouds of relatively cool dust are curiously absent from material around the stars at the cluster’s heart. As these dense clouds are the seeds of planets that form over the course of millions of years, thus, planet formation is stunted in these regions. The astronomers believe that this dearth of dense dust and gas discs is a result of the cluster’s most massive and powerful stars eroding and dispersing them from around their…

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