Home > Astronomy, Cosmology, General Astronomy, Star & Solar System Formation > ALMA Shows How Young Star And Planets Grow Simultaneously

ALMA Shows How Young Star And Planets Grow Simultaneously


Astronomers have used the ALMA telescope to get their first glimpse of a fascinating stage of star formation in which planets forming around a young star are helping the star itself continue to grow, resolving a longstanding mystery. The young system, about 450 light-years from Earth, is revealing its complex gravitational dance to the ever-sharpening vision of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), scheduled for completion this year.

As the planets pull in more material, they also leave a wake in their trail that clears out a gap in the disk. Such gaps have been observed in the dust disks surrounding a number of still-forming solar systems. During this process, the star also continues to grow more massive, leading to the question of how material can get through the gap cleared by the protoplanets and onto the star.

“This has been a bit of a mystery, but now we have found a process that allows the star to continue to grow despite the gap,” said Simon Casassus, of the University of Chile and the Millennium Nucleus for Protoplanetary Disks, who led an international research team.

Full Story: http://www.nrao.edu/pr/2013/protogap/
Also: http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1301/

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  1. devin
    January 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Reblogged this on devin's place of fun, creation, and more! and commented:
    if you have a wp blog, search “science” in reader.

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