Advancing New Frontiers

Our Solar System is only one example of a planetary system. Thousands of other systems have been discovered, and most look very different than Earth and its sibling planets. Understanding what controls the architecture of a planetary system and why observed systems are so diverse are key questions in the search for other planets like Earth.

Baby planets are born from the rotating disks of gas and dust that surround young stars. Understanding how these early systems go from disk to planets is essential to understanding our own origin and the true scope of our place in the universe. From direct observation of protoplanetary disks to complex mathematical models, Carnegie astronomers are working to piece together the processes that shape a planetary system's formation and early evolution.

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