24/7 Space News
Astronomers discover first step toward planet formation
An image of the radio wave emission strength from the disk around DG Taurus, observed with ALMA. Rings have not yet formed in the disk, suggesting that it is just before planet formation.
Astronomers discover first step toward planet formation
by Staff Writers
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Oct 09, 2023

Astronomers have gotten very good at spotting the signs of planet formation around stars. But for a complete understanding of planet formation, we also need to study examples where planet formation has not yet started.

Looking for something and not finding it can be even more difficult than finding it sometimes, but new detailed observations of the young star DG Taurus show that it has a smooth protoplanetary disk without signs of planet formation. This successful non-detection of planet formation may indicate that DG Taurus is on the eve of planet formation.

Planets form in disks of gas and dust, known as protoplanetary disks, around protostars, young stars still in the process of forming. Planet growth is so slow that it's not possible to watch the evolution as it happens, so astronomers observe many protostars at slightly different stages of planet formation to build up a theoretical understanding.

This time an international research team led by Satoshi Ohashi at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to conduct high-resolution observations of a protoplanetary disk around a relatively young protostar, DG Taurus located 410 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Taurus.

The team found that DG Taurus has a smooth protoplanetary disk, without any rings which would indicate that planets are forming. This led the team to believe that DG Taurus system will start forming planets in the future.

The team found that in this pre-planet-formation stage, the dust grains within 40 AU (about twice the size of the orbit of Uranus in the Solar System) of the central protostar are still small, while beyond this radius the dust grains have started to grow in size, the first step in planet formation. This is contrary to theoretical expectations that planet formation starts in the inner part of the disk.

These results provide surprising new information about the dust distribution and other conditions at the start of planet formation. Future studies of more examples will further improve our understanding of planet formation.

Research Report:Dust Enrichment and Grain Growth in a Smooth Disk around the DG Tau Protostar Revealed by ALMA Triple Bands Frequency Observations

Related Links
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
James Webb telescope captures planet-like structures in Orion Nebula
Washington DC (UPI) Oct 2, 2023
New images from the James Webb Space Telescope released Monday revealed planet-like structures in the Orion Nebula. The photos shared by the European Space Agency were taken with Webb's near-infrared camera NIRCam and exposed elements of the nebula located south of the Orion belt, which scientists have described as a "treasure trove" for their studies of the formation and early evolution of stars, with a rich diversity of phenomena and objects. It includes planet-forming disks around you ... read more

US astronaut gets used to Earth after record-setting 371 days in space

HALO Space successfully completes second battery of test flights

Beyond the Frigid Void: Per Wimmer's Adventures in the Shadows of the Known

Russian ISS segment springs third leak in under a year

NASA prepares Artemis II rocket core stage for final assembly phase

Evolution Space to produce and test solid rocket motors at Stennis

Vega flies to bring satellites to space

France's Arianespace launches 12 satellites into space

Preparing To Drill: Sols 3975-3976

Fly across Mars's 'labyrinth of night' with Mars Express

Eclipse on Earth, Exploration on Mars

Bumping to a Better Position: Sols 3973-3974

Astronauts honored for contributions to China's space program

China capable of protecting astronauts from effects of space weightlessness

Tianzhou 5 spacecraft burns up on Earth reentry

Crew of Shenzhou XV mission honored for six-month space odyssey

Sidus Space reports registered direct offering and concurrent private placement for $2M

Terran Orbital shareholders send open letter to Board

Stoke Space Announces $100 Million in New Investment

Relativity Space and Intelsat sign multi-launch agreement for Terran R

Terran Orbital opens new printed circuit board assembly facility

Five Things to Know about NASA's Deep Space Optical Communications

NASA's Roman mission gears up for a torrent of future data

Astroscale Japan to inspect a large defunct satellite in orbit

Researchers capture first-ever afterglow of huge planetary collision in outer space

Astronomers discover first step toward planet formation

Extreme habitats: Microbial life in Old Faithful Geyser

James Webb telescope captures planet-like structures in Orion Nebula

Plot thickens in hunt for ninth planet

Large mound structures on Kuiper belt object Arrokoth may have common origin

Plot thickens in the hunt for a ninth planet

Webb finds carbon source on surface of Jupiter's moon Europa

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - 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. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.