National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Spiral Dance in a Planetary Nursery

| Science

New high resolution near-infrared direct imaging of the protoplanetary disk surrounding the star AB Aurigae shows that this planetary nursery is not the comparatively featureless and smooth place that astronomers had once assumed, but a place where gas and dust swirl in a complex spiral pattern.

The new observations are part of a project to study the immediate neighborhood of young stars with greater detail than ever before by combining the large 8.2 meter effective aperture of the Subaru telescope with adaptive optics and a coronagraphic imager.


More info: Subaru telescope web page