A Fluffy Disk Around a Baby Star
An international team of astronomers that are members of the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru Telescope (SEEDS) Project has used Subaru Telescope’s High Contrast Instrument for the Subaru Next Generation Adaptive Optics (HiCIAO) to observe a disk around the young star RY Tau (Tauri). The team’s analysis of the disk shows that a “fluffy” layer above it is responsible for the scattered light observed in the infrared image. Detailed comparisons with computer simulations of scattered light from the disk reveal that this layer appears to be a remnant of material from an earlier phase of stellar and disk development, when dust and gas were falling onto the disk.
The scientific paper on which this article is based appears in the Astrophysical Journal.
(Takami, M. et al. August 2013, “High-Contrast Near-Infrared Imaging Polarimetry of the Protoplanetary Disk around RY Tau”, The Astrophysical Journal)