Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



EXO WORLDS
Oldest known planet-forming disk found
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 25, 2016


An artist's conception of this unusual system, a red dwarf star surrounded by the oldest known circumstellar disk - a primordial ring of gas and dust that orbits around a young star and from which planets can form as the material collides and aggregates. Image courtesy Jonathan Holden/Disk Detective https://www.artstation.com/artist/gethralkin. For a larger version of this image please go here.

A group of citizen scientists and professional astronomers, including Carnegie's Jonathan Gagne, joined forces to discover an unusual hunting ground for exoplanets. They found a star surrounded by the oldest known circumstellar disk - a primordial ring of gas and dust that orbits around a young star and from which planets can form as the material collides and aggregates.

Led by Steven Silverberg of University of Oklahoma, the team described a newly identified red dwarf star with a warm circumstellar disk, of the kind associated with young planetary systems.

Circumstellar disks around red dwarfs like this one are rare to begin with, but this star, called AWI0005x3s, appears to have sustained its disk for an exceptionally long time. The findings are published by The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"Most disks of this kind fade away in less than 30 million years," said Silverberg. "This particular red dwarf is a candidate member of the Carina stellar association, which would make it around 45 million years old [like the rest of the stars in that group]. It's the oldest red dwarf system with a disk we've seen in one of these associations."

The discovery relied on citizen scientists from Disk Detective, a project led by NASA/GSFC's Dr. Marc Kuchner that's designed to find new circumstellar disks. At the project's website, DiskDetective.org, users make classifications by viewing ten-second videos of data from NASA surveys, including the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission (WISE) and Two-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) projects.

Since the launch of the website in January 2014, roughly 30,000 citizen scientists have participated in this process, performing roughly 2 million classifications of celestial objects.

"Without the help of the citizen scientists examining these objects and finding the good ones, we might never have spotted this object," Kuchner said. "The WISE mission alone found 747 million [warm infrared] objects, of which we expect a few thousand to be circumstellar disks."

"Unraveling the mysteries of our universe, while contributing to the advancement of astronomy, is without a doubt a dream come true," says Hugo Durantini Luca from Argentina, one of eight citizen scientist co-authors.

Determining the age of a star can be tricky or impossible. But the Carina association, where this red dwarf was found, is a group of stars whose motions through the Galaxy indicate that they were all born at roughly the same time in the same stellar nursery.

Carnegie's Gagne devised a test that showed this newly found red dwarf and its disk are likely part of the Carina association, which was key to revealing its surprising age.

"It is surprising to see a circumstellar disk around a star that may be 45 million years old, because we normally expect these disks to dissipate within a few million years," Gagne explained.

"More observations will be needed to determine whether the star is really as old as we suspect, and if it turns out to be, it will certainly become a benchmark system to understand the lifetime of disks."

Knowing that this star and its disk are so old may help scientists understand why M dwarf disks appear to be so rare.

This star and its disk are interesting for another reason: the possibility that it could host extrasolar planets. Most of the extrasolar planets that have been found by telescopes have been located in disks similar to the one around this unusual red dwarf.

Moreover, this particular star is the same spectral type as Proxima Centauri, the Sun's nearest neighbor, which was shown to host at least one exoplanet, the famous Proxima b, in research published earlier this year.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Carnegie Institution for Science
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
EXO WORLDS
Astronomers find oldest known planetary disk
Washington (UPI) Oct 21, 2016
At 45 million years old, a newly discovered primordial ring of gas and dust is the oldest known planet-forming disk in the universe. The record-breaking circumstellar disk surrounds a red dwarf in the Carina stellar association. "Most disks of this kind fade away in less than 30 million years," Steven Silverberg, an astronomer at the University of Oklahoma, said in a news release. ... read more


EXO WORLDS
Small impacts are reworking the moon's soil faster than scientists thoug

2016 Ends with Three Supermoons

Spectacular Lunar Grazing Occultation of Bright Star on Oct. 18

Hunter's Supermoon to light up Saturday night sky

EXO WORLDS
Euro-Russian craft enters Mars orbit, but lander's fate unknown

Did it crash or land? Search on for Europe's Mars craft

Rover Conducting Science Investigations at 'Spirit Mount'

MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

EXO WORLDS
Beaches, skiing and tai chi: Club Med, Chinese style

NASA begins tests to qualify Orion parachutes for mission with crew

New Zealand government open-minded on space collaboration

Growing Interest: Students Plant Seeds to Help NASA Farm in Space

EXO WORLDS
Ambitious space satellite projects set for liftoff

China's permanent station plans ride on mission

China to enhance space capabilities with launch of Shenzhou-11

China to enhance space capabilities with launch of Shenzhou-11

EXO WORLDS
Orbital cargo ship arrives at space station

Two Russians, one American blast off to ISS

New Instrument on ISS to Study Ultra-Cold Quantum Gases

Tools Drive NASA's TReK to New Discoveries

EXO WORLDS
Four Galileo satellites are "topped off" for Arianespace's milestone Ariane 5 launch from the Spaceport

US-Russia Standoff Leaves NASA Without Manned Launch Capabilities

Swedish Space Corporation Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Esrange Space Center

Ariane 5 ready for first Galileo payload

EXO WORLDS
ALMA spots possible formation site of icy giant planet

Astronomers find oldest known planetary disk

Proxima Centauri might be more sunlike than we thought

Stars with Three Planet-Forming Discs of Gas

EXO WORLDS
Polymer breakthrough to improve things we use everyday

Lego-like wall produces acoustic holograms

Metamaterial uses light to control its motion

Louisiana Tech University professor develops new mechanism for strengthening materials




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement