Planet formation theories all in a spin
In an exciting press conference this morning, astronomers announced that the current SuperWASP planet count was now at 28, and that 9 display the curious characteristic of spinning on their axes in the opposite spin direction to their host stars. This presents something of a challenge to theories of planetary formation which say that planets form out of a spinning disc of gas and dust with a star at the centre, and thus all rotate in the same direction. The scientists say they have evidence suggesting that companion stars may be to blame, tugging on the exoplanets' orbits and forcing them into highly eccentric orbits, rather like a game of interstellar tug of war!
We'll have a full news report of the findings later today.
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