Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



STELLAR CHEMISTRY
ALMA makes first sighting of water snow line around young star
by Staff Writers
Munich, Germany (SPX) Jul 19, 2016


This artist's impression of the water snowline around the young star V883 Orionis, as detected with ALMA. Credit: A. Angelich (NRAO/AUI/NSF)/ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

Young stars are often surrounded by dense, rotating discs of gas and dust, known as protoplanetary discs, from which planets are born. The heat from a typical young solar-type star means that the water within a protoplanetary disc is gaseous up to distances of around 3 au from the star - less than 3 times the average distance between the Earth and the Sun - or around 450 million kilometres.

Further out, due to the extremely low pressure, the water molecules transition directly from a gaseous state to form a patina of ice on dust grains and other particles. The region in the protoplanetary disc where water transitions between the gas and solid phases is known as the water snow line.

But the star V883 Orionis is unusual. A dramatic increase in its brightness has pushed the water snow line out to a distance of around 40 au (about 6 billion kilometres or roughly the size of the orbit of the dwarf planet Pluto in our Solar System).

This huge increase, combined with the resolution of ALMA at long baselines, has allowed a team led by Lucas Cieza (Millennium ALMA Disk Nucleus - and Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile) to make the first ever resolved observations of a water snow line in a protoplanetary disc.

The sudden brightening that V883 Orionis experienced is an example of what occurs when large amounts of material from the disc surrounding a young star fall onto its surface. V883 Orionis is only 30% more massive than the Sun, but thanks to the outburst it is experiencing, it is currently a staggering 400 times more luminous - and much hotter.

Lead author Lucas Cieza explains: "The ALMA observations came as a surprise to us. Our observations were designed to look for disc fragmentation leading to planet formation. We saw none of that; instead, we found what looks like a ring at 40 au. This illustrates well the transformational power of ALMA, which delivers exciting results even if they are not the ones we were looking for."

The bizarre idea of snow orbiting in space is fundamental to planet formation. The presence of water ice regulates the efficiency of the coagulation of dust grains - the first step in planet formation.

Within the snow line, where water is vapourised, smaller, rocky planets like our own are believed to form. Outside the water snow line, the presence of water ice allows the rapid formation of cosmic snowballs, which eventually go on to form massive gaseous planets such as Jupiter.

The discovery that these outbursts may blast the water snow line to about 10 times its typical radius is very significant for the development of good planetary formation models.

Such outbursts are believed to be a stage in the evolution of most planetary systems, so this may be the first observation of a common occurrence. In that case, this observation from ALMA could contribute significantly to a better understanding of how planets throughout the Universe formed and evolved.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
ESO
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Hordes of Low-Mass Objects in the Orion Nebula
Munich, Germany (SPX) Jul 14, 2016
ESO's HAWK-I infrared instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile has been used to peer deeper into the heart of Orion Nebula than ever before. The spectacular picture reveals about ten times as many brown dwarfs and isolated planetary-mass objects than were previously known. This discovery poses challenges for the widely accepted scenario for Orion's star formation history. An i ... read more


STELLAR CHEMISTRY
SpaceX propels cargo to space station, lands rocket

SpaceX to launch key 'parking spot' to space station

Russia to Continue Rocket Engine Supplies to US Under Existing Contracts

India launches 20 satellites in single mission

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
NASA Selects Five Mars Orbiter Concept Studies

Next Mars Rover Progresses Toward 2020 Launch

Mars Canyons Study Adds Clues about Possible Water

Curiosity Mars Rover Enters Precautionary Safe Mode

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
SSTL and Goonhilly announce partnership and a call for lunar orbit payloads

Taiwan to make lunar lander for NASA moon-mining mission

NASA camera catches moon 'photobombing' Earth

Russia to spend $60M in 2016-2018 to fund space voyages to Moon, Mars

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
New Distant Dwarf Planet Beyond Neptune

Researchers discover distant dwarf planet beyond Neptune

New Horizons Receives Mission Extension to the Kuiper Belt

Alex Parker Discovers Moon Over Makemake in the Kuiper Belt

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Behind the scenes of protostellar disk formation

Surface Composition Determines Planet's Temperature and Habitability

Gemini Observatory Instrumental in Latest Exoplanet Harvest

Warm Jupiters Not as Lonely as Expected

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
A Peek Inside SLS: Fuel Tank For World's Largest Rocket Nears Completion

Reaction Engines secures funding to enable development of SABRE demonstrator engine

China announces success in technology to refuel satellites in orbit

Advanced Full Range Engine program envisions hybrid propulsion system paving

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Dutch Radio Antenna to Depart for Moon on Chinese Mission

Chinese Space Garbageman is not a Weapon

China to launch its largest carrier rocket later this year

China committed to peaceful use of outer space

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Dawn Maps Ceres Craters Where Ice Can Accumulate

Rosetta Finale Set for 30 September

Elite Team to Consider New Approaches to Asteroid Danger

Chaotic Orbit of Comet Halley Explained




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement