NMSU professor co-authors paper proposing alternate theory of planet formation

Wladimir Lyra, a New Mexico State University astronomy associate professor, is the co-author of a paper in the journal Nature this month that has identified a protoplanet in another star system that may be forming differently than expected.

LAS CRUCES – Astronomers can not go back in time to observe how the solar system was formed, but they can observe planets that are forming now and use computer simulations to help them better understand the process.

A New Mexico State University astronomy professor is part of a team of scientists who wrote a paper published this month in the journal Nature that has identified a protoplanet in another star system that may be forming differently than expected. It is the first system in which the evidence points to this alternative theory of planet formation.

The paper, “Images of embedded Jovian planet formation at a wide separation around AB Aurigae,” was published in the May 9 edition of the journal Nature and co-authored by Wladimir Lyra, a New Mexico State University astronomy associate professor.