Youngest planet seen as it's forming

Oct 19, 2011
Youngest planet seen as it's forming
An expanded view of the central part of the cleared region around LkCa 15, showing a composite of two reconstructed images (blue: 2.1 microns, from November 2010; red: 3.7 microns) for LkCa 15. The location of the central star is also marked. Credit: Kraus & Ireland, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The first direct image of a planet in the process of forming around its star has been captured by astronomers who combined the power of the 10-meter Keck telescopes with a bit of optical sleight of hand.

What are calling LkCa 15 b, looks like a hot “protoplanet” surrounded by a swath of cooler dust and gas, which is falling into the still-forming planet. Images have revealed that the forming planet sits inside a wide gap between the young parent star and an outer disk of dust.

“LkCa 15 b is the youngest planet ever found, about 5 times younger than the previous record holder,” said astronomer Adam Kraus of the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy. “This young gas giant is being built out of the dust and gas. In the past, you couldn’t measure this kind of phenomenon because it’s happening so close to the star. But, for the first time, we’ve been able to directly measure the planet itself as well as the dusty matter around it.”

Left: The transitional disk around the star LkCa 15. All of the light at this wavelength is emitted by cold dust in the disk. the hole in the center indicates an inner gap with radius of about 55 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Right: An expanded view of the central part of the cleared region, showing a composite of two reconstructed images (blue: 2.1 microns, from November 2010; red: 3.7 microns) for LkCa 15. The location of the central star is also marked. Credit: Kraus & Ireland 2011

Kraus will be presenting the discovery at an Oct. 19 meeting at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The meeting follows the acceptance of a research paper on the discovery by Kraus and Michael Ireland (of Macquarie University and the Australian Astronomical Observatory), in The Astrophysical Journal (available at http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.3808 )

The optical sleight of hand used by the astronomers is to combine the power of Keck’s Adaptive Optics with a technique called aperture mask interferometry. The former is the use of a deformable mirror to rapidly correct for atmospheric distortions to starlight. The latter involves placing a small mask with several holes in the path of the light collected and concentrated by a giant telescope. With that, the scientists can manipulate the light waves.

“It’s like we have an array of small mirrors,” said Kraus. “We can manipulate the light and cancel out distortions.” The technique allows the astronomers to cancel out the bright light of stars. They can then resolve disks of dust around stars and see gaps in the dusty layers where protoplanets may be hiding.

The location of LkCa 15 can be found using this chart. Credit: Kraus & Ireland 2011

“Interferometry has actually been around since the 1800’s, but through the use of adaptive optics has only been able to reach nearby young suns for about the last 7 years.” said Dr. Ireland. “Since then we’ve been trying to push the technique to its limits using the biggest telescopes in the world, especially Keck.”

The discovery of LkCa 15 b began as a survey of 150 young dusty stars in star forming regions. That led to the more concentrated study of a dozen stars.

“LkCa 15 was only our second target, and we immediately knew we were seeing something new,” said Kraus. “We could see a faint point source near the star, so thinking it might be a Jupiter-like planet we went back a year later to get more data.”

In further investigations at varying wavelengths, the astronomers were intrigued to discover that the phenomenon was more complex than a single companion object.

“We realized we had uncovered a super Jupiter-sized gas planet, but that we could also measure the dust and gas surrounding it. We’d found a planet, perhaps even a future solar system at its very beginning” said Kraus.

Drs. Kraus and Ireland plan to continue their observations of LkCa 15 and other nearby young stars in their efforts to construct a clearer picture of how and solar systems form.

Explore further: Lives and deaths of sibling stars

More information: The paper is available at arxiv.org/abs/1110.3808

Provided by W. M. Keck Observatory

4.3 /5 (14 votes)

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omatumr
1.4 / 5 (11) Oct 20, 2011
Congratulations!

According to the story in the Christian Science Monitor, LkCa 15 is one "of some 160 stars surrounded by broad disks of debris, perhaps dust and gas."

www.csmonitor.com...er-peek.

Is that supernova debris surrounding the supernova core?

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
dompee
5 / 5 (5) Oct 20, 2011
To answer your question ...No, a supernova "core" as u put it, would be a neutron star or a stellar black hole also possibly a few other exotic cosmic objects I wont go into but nothing to do with the article
omatumr
1.3 / 5 (8) Oct 20, 2011
To answer your question ...No, a supernova "core" as u put it, would be a neutron star or a stellar black hole also possibly a few other exotic cosmic objects I wont go into but nothing to do with the article


Are you an author?
rubberman
3.9 / 5 (8) Oct 20, 2011
Easy Ollie! He is the author of a credible response to a question that didn't even deserve one. Let's hope he doesn't answer your next one......
omatumr
1 / 5 (7) Oct 20, 2011
Astronomical [1] and laboratory [2] observations confirm that elements remain layered in supernova debris,

1. www.nasa.gov/miss...901.html

2. www.omatumr.com/Origin.htm

As reported in many post-1974 papers [3-6]:

3. "Elemental and isotopic inhomogeneities in noble gases:
The case for local synthesis of the chemical elements",
Trans MO Acad Sci 9, 104-122 (1975)

4. "Strange xenon, extinct super-heavy elements, and
the solar neutrino puzzle", Science 195, 208-209 (1977)

www.omatumr.com/a...enon.pdf

5. "Isotopes of tellurium, xenon and krypton
in the Allende meteorite retain record of
nucleosynthesis", Nature 277, 615-620 (1979)

www.nature.com/na...5a0.html

6. "Terrestrial-type xenon in sulfides of the
Allende meteorite", Geochemical Journal 30, 17-30 (1996)

www.terrapub.co.j...0017.PDF
Ethelred
4 / 5 (6) Oct 20, 2011
Catch is that while the debris from a supernova IS layered it is also blown out of the system at a high velocity. So the Sun could NOT have been the supernova that was involved in the our Solar System even if the Sun did have a pulsar within it. And since Neutron Repulsion would made pulsars impossible you really do have a problem with your theories.

Ethelred
dave_x
4 / 5 (4) Oct 20, 2011
@omatumr OMG dude this is an incredible discovery that has absolutely nothing to do with a "supernova core". Have a basic understanding of what is going on before you embarrass yourself further. This is a very young star that will never be a supernova. It has an associated protoplanetary disk from which the newly discovered planet formed. This is an analog to our solar system when it was in the process of forming billions of years ago.
omatumr
1.4 / 5 (7) Oct 20, 2011
If stars reform on the remnants of earlier stars [1,2], as experimental data indicate for the birth of the solar system [3-7], then young stars are exactly the right place to look for supernova debris!

1. "Is the Universe Expanding?", J Cosmology 13, 4187-4190 (2011)

http://journalofc...102.html

2. "Neutron Repulsion", APEIRON J, in press (2011)

http://arxiv.org/...2.1499v1

3. "The case for local synthesis of the chemical elements",

Trans MO Acad Sci 9, 104-122 (1975)

4. "Strange xenon, extinct super-heavy elements, and
the solar neutrino puzzle", Science 195, 208-209 (1977)

www.omatumr.com/a...enon.pdf

5. Is the Sun a pulsar? Nature 270, 159-160 (1977)

www.nature.com/na...9a0.html

6. Meteoritics 18, 209-222 (1983)

www.omatumr.com/a...nces.pdf

7. Astron and Astrophy 149, 65-72 (1985)

http://adsabs.har...49...65R
dave_x
5 / 5 (1) Oct 21, 2011
I have no idea what this has to do with anything in this article. If you want to look for products of stellar evolution, look in the mirror; there's no need to keep citing literature. You'll be happy to know that your body contains material formed in at least one supernova explosion. Eureka!
rubberman
1 / 5 (2) Oct 21, 2011
LOL....yes, Moby tried to educate us all.
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Oct 23, 2011

When I look in the mirror I see no winkles. So winkles are unreliable for determining the age of the expelled material from supernovas that is me.

Where are the wrist watches of the particles that is me?
Graeme
not rated yet Oct 23, 2011
Instead of adding a mask on the front of the telescope, a adaptation of the adaptive optics mirror could cause phase cancellation of the light for the central star. Make a virtual mask for a disk that covers the star, inverse 2D Fourier transform it, and then distort the mirror to make phase shifts of the light to result in that mask. The mirror would have to take distortions of half a wavelength forward or back though!
jsdarkdestruction
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 27, 2011
Oliver Manuel's recent efforts to plaster Physorg.com and other public news sites with his theories and personal URLs are a bit puzzling, as scientists have a variety of publications available to communicate directly to each other in. My best guess is that he is desperately trying to prop up his legacy in light of his arrest in his university office on 7 charges of rape and sodomy based on allegations by 4 of his own children. The charges have been reduced to one count of felony attempted sodomy, not necessarily because of his innocence, but because of the statute of limitations. One can only guess how the recent charges and decades of family strife have affected his ability to reason rationally and to remain objective while defending his unpopular theories.

http://mominer.ms...hildren/

http://www.homefa...uel.html