Hubble Finds Huge System of Dusty Material Enveloping the Young Star HR 4796A

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Hubble Finds Huge System of Dusty Material Enveloping the Young Star HR 4796A

Post by Dragon on Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:07 pm

Astronomers have used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to uncover a vast, complex dust structure, about 150 billion miles across, enveloping the young star HR 4796A. A bright, narrow, inner ring of dust is already known to encircle the star and may have been corralled by the gravitational pull of an unseen giant planet. This newly discovered huge structure around the system may have implications for what this yet-unseen planetary system looks like around the 8-million-year-old star, which is in its formative years of planet construction.

The debris field of very fine dust was likely created from collisions among developing infant planets near the star, evidenced by a bright ring of dusty debris seen 7 billion miles from the star. The pressure of starlight from the star, which is 23 times more luminous than the Sun, then expelled the dust far into space.

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Re: Hubble Finds Huge System of Dusty Material Enveloping the Young Star HR 4796A

Post by Dragon on Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:09 pm


Credits: NASA/ESA/G. Schneider (Univ. of Arizona)

Hubble uncovers a vast, complex dust structure, about 150 billion miles across, enveloping the young star HR 4796A. A bright, narrow inner ring of dust is already known to encircle the star, based on much earlier Hubble images. This newly discovered huge dust structure around the system may have implications for what a yet-unseen planetary system looks like around the 8-million-year-old

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Re: Hubble Finds Huge System of Dusty Material Enveloping the Young Star HR 4796A

Post by Dragon on Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:11 pm



Exocomets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris. Astronomers analysing observations of nearly 500 individual comets made with the HARPS instrument at ESO’s La Silla Observatory have discovered two families of exocomets around this nearby young star.

The first consists of old exocomets that have made multiple passages near the star.

The second family, shown in this illustration, consists of younger exocomets on the same orbit, which probably came from the recent breakup of one or more larger objects.

 
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Re: Hubble Finds Huge System of Dusty Material Enveloping the Young Star HR 4796A

Post by Dragon on Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:13 pm



The researchers suggest the comet swarm may be frozen debris trapped and concentrated by the gravity of an as-yet-unseen planet.

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, astronomers mapped millimeter-wavelength light from dust and carbon monoxide (CO) molecules in a disk surrounding the star. Located about 63 light-years away and only 20 million years old, Beta Pictoris hosts one of the closest, brightest and youngest debris disks known, making it an ideal laboratory for studying the early development of planetary systems.

The ALMA images reveal a vast belt of carbon monoxide located at the fringes of the system. Much of the gas is concentrated in a single clump located about 8 billion miles (13 billion kilometers) from the star, or nearly three times the distance between the planet Neptune and the sun. The total amount of CO observed, the scientists say, exceeds 200 million billion tons, equivalent to about one-sixth the mass of Earth's oceans.

 
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