National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Diversity the Norm in Protoplanetary Disks: Astronomers Find Donuts, Spirals and Now Banana Splits

| Science


A close look at the protoplanetary disk around a young star by two teams of astronomers using the Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea has led to the unexpected discovery of two banana-shaped arcs facing each other. The disk, which surrounds the star HD142527, also shows a gap that could be the tumultuous birthplace of a planet, and an extended arc that could have formed during a recent encounter with a stellar neighbor. This discovery adds yet more variety to the bewildering diversity of protoplanetary disk shapes --- ranging from donuts to spirals--- that astronomers are finding as they study the birthing grounds of planets around other stars.


More info: Subaru telescope web page