Scientists have discovered the unexpected formation of exoplanets




Scientists have discovered the unexpected formation of exoplanets

The research team found evidence that extrasolar planet can be formed quite far from its star – twice more than the distance from Pluto to the Sun. The formation of planets in the distance from the parent star’s light a little at odds with the common theory of planet formation. The newly discovered planet in the constellation Hydra literally denied the popular theory of its existence. On the other hand, is not the fact that it actually exists – mistakes happen .

As its common scenario, the planet is usually formed over millions of years due to the slow accretion of dust, rocks and gas. The easiest way to this process is close to the central star. Even in the case of the disk instability scenario in which a planet quickly collapses, it is unclear how the planet could have formed from such a small mass. Astrophysicist Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution, working with the model of unstable disks, reported the following:

“If this alleged mass of the planet is so small, we think it’s a real puzzle. The theory says that the planet can not exist. ”

The planet is a gas inside the dust disk around a small red dwarf star TW Hydrae, whose mass is only 55% of the mass of the Sun. This finding complements the rapidly growing list of the diversity of planetary systems in the Milky Way – every six months, found out new potential development of exoplanets. So, this dusty protoplanetary disk is very close to us, only 176 light-years away in the constellation Hydra.

Astronomers have carried out observations with the space telescope “Hubble” in a broad range of wavelengths from the visible to near infrared and modeled the color and structure of the disk in such a way that has not done before. Scientists have discovered a shortage of material in the disk, or a partial tear, about 80 astronomical units (AU). 1 AU – The distance from the Earth to the Sun. Their model showed that the deepening of about 20 AU in width, which is a little wider than you need to open the space to the planet and the planet’s existence in the 6-28 Earth masses. This property is evident at all wavelengths, it is structurally different and not general. The team decided that the evidence is sufficient for the formation of the planet, which provoked the rupture.

«TW Hydrae age of 5-10 million years old, and, apparently, is in the home stretch of planet formation before the disk is dissipated,” – said Alicia Weinberger, co-author of labor. – “Surprisingly enough to detect a planet in 5-10% of the mass of Jupiter, which is formed so far. For all the principles planetoformirovaniya, very difficult to find a low-mass planet is far from the star of low mass. ”

The purpose of these observations was to understand not only that formed the planets in fact, but also what conditions can lead to the formation of planets and what are the chemical components will affect the process. Model from Hannah Young-Condell, a former Carnegie researcher showed that the disk was brighter than expected, indicating that very small particles of dust raised by the higher than normal on average. This is surprising, since the observations of radio telescopes have previously shown that the disk contains dust that collects in the stones.

Weinberger simulated observation so that it was possible to detect large grain ice water in the surface layer of the disk. They were not seen, suggesting that they have grown up and sank in the middle of the disc and become the future of the planet’s water storage.

The lead author of the study, John Debs from the Institute of Space Science and telescopes, said:

“As a rule, we need the stones to form planets. Therefore, if the break [drive] is the planet and there is no dust larger than a grain of sand, there is a problem of the traditional model of the formation of planets. ”

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