Spring Cleaning in an Infant Star System

This image depicts the dusty disc encircling the young, isolated star HD 169142. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) imaged this disc in high resolution by picking up faint signals from its constituent millimetre-sized dust grains. The vivid rings are thick bands of dust, separated by deep gaps.

Optimised to study the cold gas and dust of systems like HD 169142, ALMA’s sharp eyes have revealed the structure of many infant solar systems with similar cavities and gaps. A variety of theories have been proposed to explain them — such as turbulence caused by magnetorotational instability, or the fusing of dust grains — but the most plausible explanation is that these pronounced gaps were carved out by giant protoplanets.

When solar systems form gas and dust coalesce into planets. These planets then effectively spring clean their orbits, clearing them of gas and dust and herding the remaining material into well-defined bands. The deep gaps seen in this image are consistent with the presence of multiple protoplanets — a finding that agrees with other optical and infrared studies of the same system.

Observing such dusty protoplanetary discs with ALMA allows scientists to investigate the first steps of planet formation in a bid to unveil the evolutionary paths of these infant systems.

Links

Telif:

ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/ Fedele et al.

Görüntü Hakkında

Kimlik:potw1714a
Tür:Gözlem
Yayın tarihi:03 Nisan 2017 06:00
Boyut:2000 x 2000 px

Nesne Hakkında

Adı:HD 169142
Tür:Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Disk : Protoplanetary
Uzaklık:380 ışık yılı
Constellation:Sagittarius
Kategori:Stars

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Koordinatlar

Position (RA):18 24 29.78
Position (Dec):-29° 46' 49.90"
Field of view:0.01 x 0.01 arcminutes
Yönelim:Kuzey yönü -0.0° sol derece kadar dik konumdan sapma göstermektedir

Renkler & Filtreler

BantDalgaboyuTeleskop
Milimetre
230 GHz
1.3 mmAtacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
Band 6

 

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