ALMA: First Detection of Gas in Circumplanetary Disk

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ALMA: First Detection of Gas in Circumplanetary Disk

Post by bystander » Fri Aug 12, 2022 6:54 pm

ALMA Makes First-Ever Detection of Gas in a Circumplanetary Disk
ALMA | ESO | NAOJ | NRAO | 2022 Aug 09
Scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to study planet formation have made the first-ever detection of gas in a circumplanetary disk. What’s more, the detection also suggests the presence of a very young exoplanet. ...

Circumplanetary disks are an amassing of gas, dust, and debris around young planets. These disks give rise to moons and other small, rocky objects, and control the growth of young, giant planets. Studying these disks in their earliest stages may help shed light on the formation of our own Solar System, including that of Jupiter’s Galilean moons, which scientists believe formed in a circumplanetary disk of Jupiter around 4.5 billion years ago.

While studying AS 209 — a young star located roughly 395 light-years from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus — scientists observed a blob of emitted light in the middle of an otherwise empty gap in the gas surrounding the star. That led to the detection of the circumplanetary disk surrounding a potential Jupiter-mass planet. Scientists are watching the system closely, both because of the planet’s distance from its star and the star’s age. The exoplanet is located more than 200 astronomical units, or 18.59 billion miles, away from the host star, challenging currently accepted theories of planet formation. And if the host star’s estimated age of just 1.6 million years holds true, this exoplanet could be one of the youngest ever detected. Further study is needed, and scientists hope that upcoming observations with the James Webb Space Telescope will confirm the planet’s presence. ...

Molecules with ALMA at Planet-forming Scales (MAPS): A Circumplanetary
Disk Candidate in Molecular-line Emission in the AS 209 Disk
~ Jaehan Bae et al
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