Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Alton Parrish (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

Planet-Forming Gas Streams Seen For The First Time

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


 

 

 

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have seen a key stage in the birth of giant planets for the first time. Vast streams of gas are flowing across a gap in the disc of material around a young star. These are the first direct observations of such streams, which are expected to be created by giant planets guzzling gas as they grow. The result is published on 2 January 2013 in the journal Nature.

 
This artist’s impression shows the disc of gas and cosmic dust around the young star HD 142527. Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have seen vast streams of gas flowing across the gap in the disc. These are the first direct observations of these streams, which are expected to be created by giant planets guzzling gas as they grow, and which are a key stage in the birth of giant planets.

Credit:  ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/M. Kornmesser (ESO)


The international team of astronomers studied the young star HD 142527, over 450 light-years from Earth, which is surrounded by a disc of gas and cosmic dust — the remains of the cloud from which the star formed. The dusty disc is divided into an inner and an outer part by a gap, which is thought to have been carved by newly forming gas giant planets clearing out their orbits as they circle the star. The inner disc reaches from the star out to the equivalent of the orbit of Saturn in the Solar System, while the outer disc begins about 14 times further out. The outer disc does not surround the star uniformly; instead, it has a horseshoe shape, probably caused by the gravitational effect of the orbiting giant planets.
 

ALMA observations of the disc and gas streams around HD 142527: Observations made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope of the disc of gas and cosmic dust around the young star HD 142527, showing vast streams of gas flowing across the gap in the disc. These are the first direct observations of these streams, which are expected to be created by giant planets guzzling gas as they grow, and which are a key stage in the birth of giant planets.

Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), S. Casassus et al.

The dust in the outer disc is shown in red. Dense gas in the streams flowing across the gap, as well as in the outer disc, is shown in green. Diffuse gas in the central gap is shown in blue. The gas filaments can be seen at the three o’clock and ten o’clock positions, flowing from the outer disc towards the centre. The dense gas observed is HCO+, and the diffuse gas is CO. The outer disk is roughly two light-days across. If this were our own Solar System, the Voyager 1 probe — the most distant manmade object from Earth — would be at approximately the inner edge of the outer disk.

According to theory, the giant planets grow by capturing gas from the outer disc, in streams that form bridges across the gap in the disc.
 
This chart shows the position of the young star HD 142527, in the constellation of Lupus (The Wolf). The star is too faint to be marked on this chart, but is located at the centre of the red circle.

Credit: ESO, IAU and Sky & Telescope


“Astronomers have been predicting that these streams must exist, but this is the first time we’ve been able to see them directly,” says Simon Casassus (Universidad de Chile, Chile), who led the new study. “Thanks to the new ALMA telescope, we’ve been able to get direct observations to illuminate current theories of how planets are formed!”
 
Left: observations made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope of the disc of gas and cosmic dust around the young star HD 142527, showing vast streams of gas flowing across the gap in the disc. These are the first direct observations of these streams, which are expected to be created by giant planets guzzling gas as they grow, and which are a key stage in the birth of giant planets.
 
This artist’s impression shows the disc of gas and cosmic dust around the young star HD 142527. Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have seen vast streams of gas flowing across the gap in the disc. These are the first direct observations of these streams, which are expected to be created by giant planets guzzling gas as they grow, and which are a key stage in the birth of giant planets.

Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/M. Kornmesser (ESO)
 
The dust in the outer disc is shown in red. Dense gas in the streams flowing across the gap, as well as in the outer disc, is shown in green. Diffuse gas in the central gap is shown in blue. The gas filaments can be seen at the three o’clock and ten o’clock positions, flowing from the outer disc towards the centre. The dense gas observed is HCO+, and the diffuse gas is CO. The outer disk is roughly two light-days across. If this were our own Solar System, the Voyager 1 probe — the most distant manmade object from Earth — would be at approximately the inner edge of the outer disk.

Right: artist’s impression of the disc and gas streams, for illustration.

Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/M. Kornmesser (ESO), S. Casassus et al.


Casassus and his team used ALMA to look at the gas and cosmic dust around the star, seeing finer details, and closer to the star, than could be seen with previous such telescopes. ALMA’s observations, at submillimetre wavelengths, are also impervious to the glare from the star that affects infrared or visible-light telescopes. The gap in the dusty disc was already known, but they also discovered diffuse gas remaining in the gap, and two denser streams of gas flowing from the outer disc, across the gap, to the inner disc.

“We think that there is a giant planet hidden within, and causing, each of these streams. The planets grow by capturing some of the gas from the outer disc, but they are really messy eaters: the rest of it overshoots and feeds into the inner disc around the star” says Sebastián Pérez, a member of the team, who is also at Universidad de Chile.

The observations answer another question about the disc around HD 142527. As the central star is still forming, by capturing material from the inner disc, the inner disc would have already been devoured, if it was not somehow topped up. The team found that the rate at which leftover gas streams onto the inner disc is just right to keep the inner disc replenished, and to feed the growing star.

 
This video starts with a broad panorama of the spectacular central regions of the Milky Way seen in visible light. It then zooms in to the young star HD 142527.
Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org) Music: movetwo

Another first is the detection of the diffuse gas in the gap. “Astronomers have been looking for this gas for a long time, but so far we only had indirect evidence for it. Now, with ALMA, we can see it directly,” explains Gerrit van der Plas, another team member at Universidad de Chile.

This residual gas is more evidence that the streams are caused by giant planets, rather than even larger objects such as a companion star. “A second star would have cleared out the gap more, leaving no residual gas. By studying the amount of gas left, we may be able to pin down the masses of the objects doing the clearing.” adds Pérez.

What about the planets themselves? Casassus explains that, although the team did not detect them directly, he is not surprised. “We searched for the planets themselves with state-of-the-art infrared instruments on other telescopes. However, we expect that these forming planets are still deeply embedded in the streams of gas, which are almost opaque. Therefore, there may be little chance of spotting the planets directly.”

Nevertheless, the astronomers aim to find out more about the suspected planets by studying the gas streams as well as the diffuse gas. The ALMA telescope is still under construction, and has not yet reached its full capabilities. When it is complete, its vision will be even sharper, and new observations of the streams may allow the team to determine properties of the planets, including their masses.
More information

This research was presented in a paper, “Flows of gas through a protoplanetary gap”, to appear in the journal Nature on 2 January 2013.

The team is composed of S. Casassus (Universidad de Chile, Chile; Millennium Nucleus for Protoplanetary Disks — Ministry of Economy, Chilean Government), G. van der Plas (Universidad de Chile, Chile), S. Pérez M. (Universidad de Chile, Chile), W. R. F. Dent (Joint ALMA Observatory, Chile; European Southern Observatory, Chile), E. Fomalont (NRAO, USA), J. Hagelberg (Observatoire de Genève, Switzerland), A. Hales (Joint ALMA Observatory, Chile; NRAO, USA), A. Jordán (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile), D. Mawet (European Southern Observatory, Chile), F. Ménard (CNRS / INSU, France; Universidad de Chile, Chile; CNRS / UJF Grenoble, France), A. Wootten (NRAO, USA), D. Wilner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA), A. M. Hughes (U. C. Berkeley, USA), M. R. Schreiber (Universidad Valparaiso, Chile), J. H. Girard (European Southern Observatory, Chile), B. Ercolano (Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität, Germany), H. Canovas (Universidad Valparaiso, Chile), P. E. Román (University of Chile, Chile), V, Salinas (Universidad de Chile, Chile).

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan. ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. 

 
At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning the 39-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.
 
Source: European Southern Observatory 

Links
Research paper
Simulation video of the streams and gap in a protoplanetary disc created by two planets. The view rotates to keep one of the planets in the same apparent position. Credit: S. Casassus et al.
Simulation video of the stream and gap in a protoplanetary disc created by one planet. The view rotates to keep the planet in the same apparent position. Credit: S. Casassus et al.
More about ALMA at ESO
The Joint ALMA Observatory
 
More stories:

Planet-Forming Gas Streams Seen For The First Time 

60 School Shootings Linked To Psychiatric Drugs Over Past 20 Years 

Video: UFO Lands In China, Alien Walks Out, People Flee 

Climate “Geo-Engineering Is Inevitable” Says Law Professor 

Monster Geyser At Galactic Center, A Million Times More Powerful Than A Nova 

Fiscal Cliff Averted, $4 Trillion in Debt Added 

While In Womb, Babies Begin Learning Language From Their Mothers 

Mystery: Magnetism Without Magnetic Materials Existed Before Stars 

Research Unearths Terrace Farming At Ancient Desert City Of Petra 

Videos: Semi-Cloaked Alien Photo, Possible Alien Base In Taiwan At Ancient Pyramid   

Best UFO Sightings Of 2012, AFO 

A Call To Repeal The Second Amendment 

The Kailasa Temple And Ancient Aliens, Cave 16 

Video: Sandy Hook As State Terror Against USA Population 

Anonymous Announces Jihad On The Illuminati 

Videos: Two Cube UFOs Over Russia, Saucer UFO On Thailand TV News 

Houston We Have Another Problem: Cosmic Radiation Accelerates Alzheimer’s Disease 

Liar, Liar, Nose On Fire: Pinocchio Effect Revealed 

Sound That Cuts Inside Flesh, Invisible Sonic Surgical Blade 

Stellar Debris In The Large Magellanic Cloud 

Wormhole UFO Russia On Christmas Eve, Similar To 2009 Norway Spiral, And Japan, Mexico And China Wormhole Claims 

10 Disgusting Food Ingredients, Video 

By The Numbers: Comparing Spending By Gun Rights And Gun Control Interest Groups 

Nibiru And The Threat To Earth: The World Will End Just Not This Month Says Bucknell Astronomer 

Alien Creature On Mars: Frog Or Reptilian 

Fantastic Claws Of Killer Bird

Spaceman Rock Painting Found in The North-West Kimberley Region, W. Australia 1891 

Is This A CIA Navy Seal Time Traveling Disclosure? Warning For February 15, 2013 

Astronauts See Angels

Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Join our affiliate program and earn extra money by sharing with friends and family or by posting on your social media.

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at www.mitocopper.com


Get our Free Ebook, "Suppressed Health Secrets"  with  Natural Cures THEY don't want you to know!

APeX - Far superior to colloidal silver! Destroys Viruses, Bacteria, Pathogens with Oxygen plus Silver!

Supreme Fulvic - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

Ultimate Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Organic Hemp Extract (CBD) - Full Spectrum high CBD (3300mg) hemp extract eases stiff joints, relieves stress and more!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)


FINAL WARNING!  Diseases are EXPLODING!  Watch this Video about APeX and You'll THROW AWAY Your Colloidal Silver!  APeX destroys Viruses, Bacteria and other Pathogens with the power of Oxygen PLUS Silver!  Nobody else has a product like THIS!   See why the inventor hasn't been sick in 16 years and why you'll never hear about it on the FAKE NEWS!  Get some now and tell your friends about it too so we can reach more people!  


APeX Interview - Superior to Colloidal Silver from Lee Canady on Vimeo.


Learn about APeX Here and Get the 50 Page Report in PDF format.   Call us at 888-809-8385 to order by phone.



Report abuse
Loading...
    Loading...

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    MOST RECENT
    Loading...
    Load more ...

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.