Planet Factory Located by Scientists, and It Exceeds Our Imagination

Once again, astronomers became convinced that planet formation can be much more chaotic than they expected. Just like stars and entire galaxies, planets also form themselves firstly due to gravity. But there’s still a lot more information to unveil about planet formation. This also applies for gravity itself, although some astrophysicists aren’t willing to admit it.

The star RU Lup has been photographed by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), and it’s showcasing how diverse planet-forming environments can get.

Dusty disks with multiple rings and gaps

New images from ALMA are revealing these disks, which are practically planet factories. The new observations reveal a set of spiral arms made of gas that extends far beyond its usual dust disk. This spiral structure is even resembling a little galaxy as it stretches incredibly and unexpectedly much. The stretch measures 1000 astronomical units from the star.

Jane Huang, who’s the lead author of the study and also working on the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA), declared the following:

The fact that we observed this spiral structure in the gas after a longer observation suggests that we have likely not seen the full diversity and complexity of planet-forming environments. We may have missed much of the gas structures in other disks,

Sean Andrews from the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian admits the obvious:

There might be unknown processes happening during planet formation that we have not yet accounted for in our models. We will only learn what they are if we find other disks out there that look like RU Lup.

It’s both exciting and frustrating to see that even in 2020, we still shouldn’t consider that science can explain everything about the vastness of the Cosmos.

The new study was published in the Astrophysical Journal.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *