Dust Disks May Point Way to Exoplanets

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Science  05 Dec 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5344, pp. 1707-1708
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5344.1707

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UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS-- Astronomers have traditionally believed that the formation of planets would leave little or no dust around a star because all the dust would end up in planets; a disk of dust, they thought, was a sign that no planets had formed in that particular system. But researchers have now found a dust disk around 55 Cancri, a dim, sunlike star in the constellation Cancer that is thought to be accompanied by one or possibly two massive planets. Apparently, dust disks and planets are not mutually exclusive after all.