National Radio Astronomy Observatory | 2021 Jun 17
New observations of young stellar object Elias 2-27 confirm gravitational instabilities and planet-forming disk mass as key to formation of giant planets
A team of scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to study the young star Elias 2-27 have confirmed that gravitational instabilities play a key role in planet formation, and have for the first time directly measured the mass of protoplanetary disks using gas velocity data, potentially unlocking one of the mysteries of planet formation. ...
- Using gas velocity data, scientists observing Elias 2-27 were able to directly measure the mass of the young star’s protoplanetary disk and also trace dynamical perturbations in the star system. Visible in this paneled composite are the dust continuum 0.87mm emission data (blue), along with emissions from gases C18O (yellow) and 13CO (red). Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/T. Paneque-Carreño (Universidad de Chile), B. Saxton (NRAO)
Protoplanetary disks—planet-forming disks made of gas and dust that surround newly formed young stars—are known to scientists as the birthplace of planets. The exact process of planet formation, however, has remained a mystery. The new research, led by Teresa Paneque-Carreño, ... focuses on unlocking the mystery of planet formation.
During observations, scientists confirmed that the Elias 2-27 star system—a young star located less than 400 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus—was exhibiting evidence of gravitational instabilities which occur when planet-forming disks carry a large fraction of the system’s stellar mass. “How exactly planets form is one of the main questions in our field. However, there are some key mechanisms that we believe can accelerate the process of planet formation,” said Paneque-Carreño. “We found direct evidence for gravitational instabilities in Elias 2-27, which is very exciting because this is the first time that we can show kinematic and multi-wavelength proof of a system being gravitationally unstable. Elias 2-27 is the first system that checks all of the boxes.” ...
ALMA Observes Deep into Chaotic Planetary Nursery
ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) | 2021 Jun 17
Spiral Arms and a Massive Dust Disk with Non-Keplerian Kinematics:
Possible Evidence for Gravitational Instability in the Disk of Elias 2–27 ~ T. Paneque-Carreño et al
- Astrophysical Journal 914(2):88 (2021 Jun 20) DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/abf243
- arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:2103.14048 > 25 Mar 2021 (v1), 24 May 2021 (v2)
- arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:2104.0953 > 19 Apr 2021 (v1), 07 May 2021 (v2)