The environment in which new planets are formed, can be much more chaotic than previously thought, reported in the journal Astrophysical Journal. This is the conclusion of astronomers came after the discovery of the spiral arms of carbon monoxide in the gas-dust disc around a star in the constellation of the Wolf.
All planets, including those in the Solar system formed in a compact gas-dust disks around young stars. First, small particles of dust clumped together into larger objects that are connected to form planetesimals. As you move the nuclei of the planets clear the space around its orbit, making the inside of the disc there are quite clear ring-shaped or helical structure. However, the new observations show that the gas flow it can be much more complex.
Jane Joan (Jane Huang) from the Harvard-Smithsonian center for astrophysics, along with colleagues studied the EN Wolf, a young variable star, located about 400 light years from Earth. She is surrounded by a disk with a well-defined dust rings on the inside, indicating active processes of the origin of the planets. However, in the disk, as noted by scholars, was also present, barely visible structures of carbon monoxide (CO), which go far beyond it. These structures group, Juan decided to explore using the ALMA telescope.
Monitoring isotopologues of carbon monoxide 12CO, 13CO, and
C18O showed that the disk around EN Wolf, there are at least five spiral gas hoses, somewhat like a mini-galaxy. They stretch almost a thousand astronomical units from the star, which is much greater than the radius of the compact dust disk, which is 120 astronomical units. The scientists also found 11 blobs of gas away from a thousand astronomical units from the sun. Their weight is from 0.1 to 150 mass of our planet.
The authors suggested several explanations for such a complex gas structure of the protoplanetary disk. It could be due to gravitational instabilities in the disk, or due to the fact that in the past, next to him was another star. In addition, astronomers do not rule out the possibility that the protoplanetary disk interacts with the interstellar medium, attracting surrounding matter.
However, none of these scenarios does not describe completely the observed morphology. Perhaps in the disk there are processes, which were not considered in the proposed models, but to learn about them will be possible only after opening of other similar discs.
Previously astronomers were able to find an explanation for the anomalous properties of the distributions of gas and dust in the protoplanetary disk of the star HD 163296 and found around a very young protostar rotating gas-dust disk, which possibly formed a new planetary system.