The Co-evolution of Disks and Stars in Embedded Stages: The Case of the Very-low-mass Protostar IRAS 15398–3359

Journal: The Astrophysical Journal Letters

Published: 2018-09-04

DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/aad8ba

Affiliations: 6

Authors: 7

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Research Highlight

A small star with cosmic significance

© MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

© MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

The precursors for planets could form around new stars earlier than previously thought.

Protoplanetary disks are rings of gas and dust that swirl around newly formed stars, eventually clumping into planets.

Now, a team including researchers from the University of Tsukuba has used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile to study a small protostar, which is shrouded in a dust cloud.

Their observations revealed a dense rotating disk of gas and dust, not previously seen around such a young star. From the disk’s rotation speed, the team calculated the star’s mass to be a mere 0.7% that of the Sun — the lowest mass yet reported for a protostar, although it is expected to gain more material from the disk over time.

Understanding when and how planetary disks form could improve models of the birth of our Solar System.

Supported content

  1. The Astrophysical Journal Letters 864, L25 (2018). doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/aad8ba
Institutions FC
Department of Physics, UTokyo, Japan 0.43
RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR), Japan 0.14
Centre for Star and Planet Formation (STARPLAN), Denmark 0.14
Leiden Observatory (STRW), Netherlands 0.14
Institute of Physics, University of Tsukuba, Japan 0.07
Tomonaga Center for History of the Universe (TCHoU), University of Tsukuba, Japan 0.07

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