Dense rings of dust
December 13, 2018 6:32 AM   Subscribe

ALMA Campaign Provides Unprecedented Views of the Birth of Planets. ALMA‘s first large-scale, high-resolution survey of protoplanetary disks. Fantastic pictures. Because what is astronomy if not fantastic pictures?
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee (4 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Young star systems like this are weird and wonderful places. If they're young enough, they're not powered by fusion but by the energy of their own gas making the long, long drop in towards the core of the new star. Then for a while they burn lithium as it goes up at a mere 2.5 million degrees. They often have powerful magnetic fields too, hundreds or thousands of times stronger than Earth's.
posted by Quindar Beep at 6:53 AM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

We're looking at somebody's future right there. In a few billion years they may be sitting on a planet formed out of one of those disks, probably having no idea that we existed and bore witness to their beginnings. We will be long gone or transformed unrecognizably. I wish them the best.
posted by roue at 9:21 AM on December 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

The first of these was HL Tau, imaged by ALMA in 2014. That image pretty much started the planetary disk gold rush and set the bar - it's such a glorious image that it is hard to grasp that it's actual data, not an artist's conception.

With this DSHARP sample, I guess now we see the diversity of such systems.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:23 AM on December 14, 2018

posted by lucidium at 5:18 AM on December 20, 2018

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