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One Gap, No Planets

Where's the planet that should be to blame for this star's carved-out disk?

How do planets form? This deceptively simple question has sparked a new field in astronomy over the last two decades. Astronomers have used telescopes all over the world (and in orbit!) to study all stages of planet formation, from disks of material around infant stars to the scattered debris and planetesimals in systems such as Fomalhaut’s. The goal of all these studies is the development of a coherent scenario that explains the behavior and evolution of planet-forming disks around young stars and links them to the exoplanets observed around older stars (such as those glimpsed by Kepler).

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