New research led by an astronomer at Warwick University found the first confirmed example of a double star system that turned its surrounding disk into a position that jumps over the orbital plane of those stars.
The international team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array (ALMA) to obtain high resolution Asteroid belt sizes.
The overall system is an unusual view of the dense arc of gas and dust circulating at right angles to the orbit of the binary stars. So far, this setting has existed only in the theoretical minds, but the ALMA observation proves that polar disks of this type exist and may even be relatively common.
New research published today (January 14) by a research fellow at the University of the Royal University, Dr. Grant M. Kennedy from the University of Warwick's Department of Physics and the Center for Exoplanets and Habitats in Natural Astronomy in a document called Circumbinary Protoplanetary Disc in a Polar Configuration.
Dr. Grant M. Kennedy of the University of Warwick said:
"Floppy and gas-rich diskettes are visible on almost all young stars, and we know that at least a third of those that are orbiting individual stars form planets." Some of these planets end up wrongly on the rotation of the star that it could be possible for perimeter planets .Development of dynamics means that it would be possible to achieve the so-called polar mismatch, but until now we have no evidence of mis-aligned disks that could create these planets. "
Dr. Kennedy and his colleagues used ALMA to capture the gas and dust circle in the system. The binary orbit was previously known from the observation that quantified how the stars moved toward each other. By combining these two pieces of information, they proved that the dust ring is in line with perfectly polar orbit. This means that while the stellar orbits are circulating in the same plane, like two horses moving on the carousel, the disk surrounds these stars at a right angle to their orbits, like a huge Russian wheel with a carousel in the middle.
Dr. Grant M. Kennedy of the University of Warwick added:
"Perhaps the most exciting thing about this discovery is that the disk shows some of the same signatures that we attribute to the growth of dust in the disks around the stars, meaning that it means that the formation of planets can be at least begun in these polar circumbinary disks. the formation of the planet may happen, there might be the entire population of disparate perimeter planets that we still have to discover, and things like special seasonal variations to be considered. "
If a planet or planetoid were present on the inner edge of the dust circle, the ring itself appeared from the surface as a wide belt that rose almost perpendicularly from the horizon. Polar configuration means the stars appear to move in and out of the plane of the discs, which occasionally reveals two shadows. Seasons on planets in such systems would also be different. Earth changes throughout the year when we orbit the sun. The Polar Circuit Planet would have a period that also varies because different latitudes receive more or less light throughout the binary orbit.
Added Author Dr. Daniel Price from the University of Monash Astrophysics Center (MoCA) and the School of Physics and Astronomy added:
"We thought that other solar systems would be created just like ours, with planets circling the same direction around a single sun, but with new images we see a whirlpool of gas and dust circling two stars, and it is also surprising to find that this disc is orbiting at a right angle to the orbit of the two stars.
"Two more stars were incredibly visible in the orbit, so if four planets are born there will be four suns in the sky!
"ALMA is just a fantastic telescope, and so it teaches us how the planet is born in other solar systems."
The research is supported by the Monash Warwick Alliance, founded by the University of Warwick and Monash University in 2012 as a courageous and innovative alliance development project with a wide range and impact beyond standard practice in the industry.
The entire research team for this document was: Dr. Grant M. Kennedy of the University of Warwick is the Department of Physics and Center for Exoplanets and Habitat as the lead author and; Luca Matra and David J. Wilner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Stefano Facchini of the Max-Planck-Institut fur Extraterrestrische Physik; Julien Milli of the European Southern Observatory (ESO); Olja Panic of Physical and Astronomical School, University of Leeds; Daniel Price Monash University Astrophysics Center (MoCA) and Physical and Astronomical School; and Mark C. Wyatt and Ben M. Yelverton of the University of Cambridge Astronomical Institute.
"Circular Bicycle Propoplanetar in Polar Configuration", Grant M. Kennedy et al., 2019, January 14, Nature Astronomy, [https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-018-0667-x].
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