Study suggests dust and gas may be mistaken for planets

07/10/2013 | Nature (free content)

Rings of dust surrounding some stars may come from an interaction between dust and gas, rather than the gravitational pull of a planet, according to a study. The findings, generated by computer models, suggest that the number of possible exoplanets may be significantly less than previously thought. "We know that there are plenty of planets out there, it's just that now we can't say that they're definitively present in these particular systems," said astrophysicist Alexis Brandeker.

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