Discovered the umbilical cord of a star in formation

An international team led by CAB researchers has obtained surprising results after studying a planetary system in the middle of the training process. The protoplanetary disk that surrounds the central star has an empty area that divides it into two sub-disks, one internal near the star and the other external. The new observations show a flow of material that radially communicates the external disk with the internal one, feeding the young star.

The team Scientist has made the discovery by observing the object HD 100546. It is a young star in formation, with an age of about 7 million years and an intermediate mass (twice the solar mass), which has a protoplanetary disk. It belongs to the star category "Herbig Ae / Be" and is one of the few objects in which you can study a planetary system in the process of formation.

The main author of the present work, the CAB researcher Ignacio Mendigutía, also led a previous study on HD 100546 in which He observed that the disk was divided into two sub-disks, one internal very close to the central star, and another external disk, separated both by a space ( gap ), empty of material. In that study, a stellar accretion rate (the rate at which the mass of the star grows) was obtained relatively high despite the fact that the internal disk is not very massive. The hypothesis put forward by Mendigutía and his collaborators was that the internal disk was being "fed" in some way from the outside, allowing the star to grow at the observed rate. What has been discovered now is, precisely, the "umbilical cord" that connects the internal and external disc.

Figure: polarized light image in the optician. It indicates the position of the central star (white cross, whose light is annulled in the observations), the external disk, the position of the innermost candidate-planet (c), almost at the edge of the gap, as well as the possible jet, within the gap. The approximate size of Pluto's orbit around the Sun is indicated as reference. & Nbsp;
© Adapted from Mendigutía et al. (2017).


Fuente: UCC-CAB


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