An international team of scientists was able to capture images of planet-forming disks hundreds of light years away from Earth. The photos, which are an achievement in itself, shed new light on how planetary systems come to be.

Those protoplanetary clouds of dust and gas, shaped like vinyl music records, appear around young stars and astronomers believe the matter found in them eventually turns into planets. 

Scientists previously struggled to properly capture planet-forming disks, as even the images from the largest telescopes weren’t detailed enough. A new study, published in Astronomy & Astrophysics on Thursday, solved this problem by coming up with completely different observation techniques.

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