Astronomers figured out how to form discs of Peter pan, who live several times longer than ordinary protoplanetary disks. As reported in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, they can form only around stars of single, very distant from other bodies, which could speed up the process of dispersion. It is noteworthy that the discs Peter pan until now found only in low-mass stars, around which usually find many of the planets. The researchers hope that these data will help to better understand not only the evolution of the dust disks, but also the processes of formation of planets in General.
The first discs of Peter pan was recently found only in 2016. Its name they got due to the fact that unlike ordinary protoplanetary disks, which dissipate after an average of 5 million years, for them the process takes 5-10 times longer. Today, scientists know quite a few of these drives — in the framework of the project Disk Detective has managed to open only seven or so how they are born, still remained a mystery.
To answer this question, astronomers Gavin Coleman (Gavin A L Coleman) and Thomas Haworth (Thomas J Haworth), University of London, Queen Mary conducted a computer simulation. Since most discs Peter pan found around red and brown dwarfs, based on the model, the scientists took a small star with a mass of 0.1 solar, which was surrounded by a dust disk with a mass of from 0.2 to 1 and the maximum possible length of from 50 to 200 astronomical units (one astronomical unit equals the average distance from the Earth to the Sun). Also in the simulation, the astronomers examined a different set of initial conditions for the system — in particular, the different intensity of fotospuredee and different speed of migration of the material inside the disc.
It turned out that the disks of Peter pan are formed only when the initial quantity of the substance around the star is more than a quarter of its mass. In addition, the light should be away from other stars, otherwise coming from their radiation will be actively ionize the gas molecules and disperse them. This may partly explain why the discs of Peter pan found exclusively around low-mass stars. Coleman and Haworth believe that stars similar to our Sun, probably formed in more densely populated areas, where the radiation of the surrounding stars does not allow such structures to survive for long. However, to confirm this hypothesis, more research is needed.
Previously we described how astronomers were able to obtain images of protoplanetary disks around 15 young stars. Those images will help you to better understand how to form Earth-like planets.