A new analysis of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is helping astronomers better understand how planets come together. The findings suggest that the process might be much more chaotic than previously believed. "It's a mess out there," remarks team leader George Rieke of the University of Arizona, Tucson. "We are seeing that planets have a long, rocky road to go down before they become full grown," reports Scientific American.
According to New York Times, the observations by &to=http://english.pravda.ru/usa/2003/02/03/42893.html' target=_blank>NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, combined with previous data from European satellites, showed that the dust clouds in these protoplanetary disks did not, as generally assumed, steadily fade away over a few million to a few tens of millions of years. Instead, the disks were frequently replenished by dusty debris from repeated collisions of large rocky objects. This chaos of creation sometimes persisted for hundreds of millions of years.