CNRC: 18-Month Twinkle in Forming Star Suggests Young Planet

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CNRC: 18-Month Twinkle in Forming Star Suggests Young Planet

Postby bystander » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:19 pm

18-Month Twinkle in a Forming Star Suggests the Existence of a Very Young Planet
Kavli Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, Peking University
National Research Council of Canada | 2017 Nov 06

Discovery made possible by a leap in submillimetre radio astronomy technology, comparable to viewing videos instead of photos

An international team of researchers have found an infrequent variation in the brightness of a forming star. This 18-month recurring twinkle is not only an unexpected phenomenon for scientists, but its repeated behavior suggests the presence of a hidden planet.

This discovery is an early win for the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) Transient Survey, just one-and-a-half years into its three-year mandate to monitor eight galactic stellar nurseries for variations in the brightness of forming stars. This novel study is critical to understanding how stars and planets are assembled. ...

“This variation in the brightness or twinkle of the star EC53 suggests that something large is disrupting the gravitational pull of the forming star. The fact that it recurs every 18 months suggests that this influence is orbiting around the star – it’s quite likely a hidden, forming planet,” says Doug Johnstone. It is thought that a companion planet is orbiting the star, and its passing gravitational pull disrupts the rate of the gas falling onto the forming star, providing a variation in the observed brightness, or light curve, of the star. ...

The JCMT Transient Survey: Detection of Submillimeter Variability
in a Class I Protostar EC 53 in Serpens Main
- Hyunju Yoo et al
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