From Nanowerk news:

Astronomers have found a distinct structure involving spiral arms in the reservoir of gas and dust disk surrounding the young star Elias 2-27. While spiral features have been observed on the surfaces of protoplanetary disks, these new ALMA observations are the first to reveal that such spirals occur at the disk midplane, the region where planet formation takes place.

This is of importance for planet formation: structures such as these could either indicate the presence of a newly formed planet, or else create the necessary conditions for a planet to form. As such, these results are a crucial step towards a better understanding how planetary systems like our Solar system came into being.

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Image Credit:   NASA/Spitzer/JPL-Caltech/WISE-Team (left image), B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), L. Pérez (MPIfR) (right image)

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