The Atlantic

A Baby Planet Is Born

In a rare discovery, astronomers have spotted a world swirling into being around its star.
Source: ESO / A. Müllet et al.

In 2003, Donald Pettit, a NASA astronaut, sprinkled some salt into a ziplock bag for an experiment. Pettit was living on the International Space Station, about 200 miles above Earth. The station was just a few years old then, and astronauts were keen to see how stuff reacted in microgravity.

Pettit gave the bag a good shake. When he stopped, the salt crystals were suspended like tiny flakes. When Pettit shook the bag again, the clump refused to break apart.

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