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“Out of Whack” Planetary System Offers Clues to a Disturbing Past

“Out of Whack” Planetary System Offers Clues to a Disturbing Past

The discovery of a planetary system “out of whack,” where the orbits of two planets are at a steep angle to each other, was reported today (May 24) by a team of astronomers led by Barbara McArthur of The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory. This surprising finding will affect theories of how multi-planet systems evolve and shows that some violent events can happen to disrupt planets’ orbits after a planetary system forms, say researchers.