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Alien worlds could be discovered by hunting for debris orbiting them

When it comes to searching for newly born planets that are tens, if not hundreds, if not thousands of light years away, we don’t often get too lucky. 

Planets are formed in thick clouds of dust and gas known as protoplanetary disks that swirl around a star. As such, it’s very difficult to observe young planets directly through all the debris. Instead, scientists must rely on clues that might infer the presence of a protoplanet, but most of those clues are pretty circumstantial at best.

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