TORONTO -- New research into a stellar system where three stars compete for attention has unearthed the first evidence that stars can rip apart and warp massive discs of planet-forming material.
Researchers identified a specific star system where planets are not formed on an even plane like in our solar system, but instead on an inclined ring within a warped circumstellar disk around multiple stars, a press release stated.
The system is called GW Orionis, and is located 1,200 light years away in the constellation of Orion.
According to researchers, if you were standing on a planet inside this star system, you could be treated to a double, or even a triple sunset, similar to the iconic Star Wars planet Tatooine.
Published in Science Mag last week, the new observations of GW Orionis provides the first concrete evidence for theoretical models that predicted if the planet-forming disc around a star system was misaligned with the orbital plane of the stars themselves, gravitational forces from the multiple stars could warp the disc and actually break it into rings, something called disc tearing.
An international team led by researchers from the University of Exeter used data from several large telescopes or arrays and a new infrared imager, called MIRC-X, to gain these new insights into the star system.
In star formation, a disk of dust and gas swirls around the growing star, feeding it. Once the star has formed, leftover material within that circumstellar disk forms into planetary bodies and moons.
"We're really excited that our new MIRC-X imager has provided the sharpest view yet of this intriguing system and revealed the gravitational dance of the three stars in the system, said Stefan Kraus, professor of astrophysics at the University of Exeter, in the press release. Normally, planets form around a flat disc of swirling dust and gas yet our images reveal an extreme case where the disc is not flat at all.
"Instead it is warped and has a misaligned ring that has broken away from the disc. The misaligned ring is located in the inner part of the disc, close to the three stars.
Researchers confirmed the existence of this misaligned ring by observing the shadow of the inner ring as it was cast on the rest of the disc.
An artists rendering of the star system shows what looks like a smaller ring of dust and gas tilted in opposition to a more oval disc of material rotating around it.
The inner ring alone contains enough dust and gas to make the mass of Earth 30 times over, meaning it is more than capable of forming planets. If planets could be formed on an inner ring like this, in this star system and others, this means we could see more star systems where planets orbit in increasingly unique ways.
And it could mean there are already planets out there that we havent discovered in star systems were already aware of, on wide and oblique orbits.
"Since more than half of stars in the sky are born with one or more companions, this raises an exciting prospect: there could be an unknown population of exoplanets that orbit their stars on very inclined and distant orbits, Alexander Kreplin, of the University of Exeter, said in the press release.
Its not just the discs of dust and gas that are misaligned with each other, but the stars themselves. The research team observed GW Orionis carefully for more than 11 years, and observed that the orbit of the stars are not on the same plane, but are also misaligned.
The final step for researchers was to take the painstaking observations and load them into computer simulations. This was when it became clear to researchers that they had clear evidence that the discs were torn apart by the competing gravitational forces of the three misaligned stars, proving what had long been only theory.
If three suns, one solar system seems like a familiar scenario, there might be a reason for that.
Its a real-life example of the Three-Body Problem, both a real scientific theory -- a physics and classical mechanics problem trying to track how three objects would move around a single gravitational point -- and a Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel by Chinese writer Liu Cixin that describes the exact scenario occurring in the new research: a star system with three stars in an unstable orbit.
So far, the new research has not predicted an imminent alien invasion to match the events of the novel, so some parts at least, remain science fiction.
View original post here:
- Planetary conjunction: Mars, Venus, Moon set to align on July 12-13 - Hindustan Times - July 12th, 2021
- Venus, Mars and crescent moon to align in 'planetary conjunction' during 12-13 July - Firstpost - July 12th, 2021
- Stars and Galaxies . Seeing Some Cosmic X-Ray Emitters Might Be a Matter of Perspective - Jet Propulsion Laboratory - July 12th, 2021
- Worlds largest telescope will see better with Irish technology - The Irish Times - July 12th, 2021
- Researchers Discover Orbital Patterns of Trans-Neptunian Objects Vary Based on Their Color - SciTechDaily - July 12th, 2021
- Taught skills needed for the space sector the space sector - Open Access Government - July 12th, 2021
- NASA will attempt a 'risky' maneuver to fix its broken Hubble Space Telescope as early as next week - Business Insider - July 12th, 2021
- Astronomical Telescope Market Consumption Analysis, Business Overview and Upcoming Trends|Celestron, Meade, Vixen Optics, TAKAHASHI, ASTRO-PHYSICS,... - June 15th, 2021
- Astrophysicists Surprised by Unexpected Effect of Black Holes Beyond Their Own Galaxies - SciTechDaily - June 15th, 2021
- Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Physics job with DURHAM UNIVERSITY | 257296 - Times Higher Education (THE) - June 15th, 2021
- Enormous strands of galaxies in the cosmic web appear to be spinning - New Scientist News - June 15th, 2021
- CU the site of one of the last government-commissioned reports on UFOs. What does it say? - CU Boulder Today - June 15th, 2021
- Saint Bernard's track and field athlete, Eagle Scout to study astrophysics at Villanova - theday.com - June 15th, 2021
- Looking at the stars, or falling by the wayside? How astronomy is failing female scientists - Space.com - June 15th, 2021
- Astronomy Professor Develops Innovative Medical Imaging Device - The College Today - June 15th, 2021
- Making space commonplace: U of T startup works with NASA on low-cost exoplanet research - News@UofT - June 15th, 2021
- UW astronomer redefines the scientific hero as part of The Great Courses - UW News - June 15th, 2021
- Security Inspection Equipment Market Share by Manufacturer (Astrophysics, Smiths Detection, Garrett, CEIA, Rapiscan Systems) COVID-19 Impact and... - June 15th, 2021
- Exoplanets And Icy Moons Among Major Themes Of European Space - Forbes - June 15th, 2021
- Reflection Telescope Market Statistics, Facts, Key Players and Forecast by 2026 | Celestron, Meade, Vixen Optics, TAKAHASHI, ASTRO-PHYSICS KSU | The... - February 10th, 2021
- Comments on: Puzzling Astrophysics of Quasars in the Early Universe - SciTechDaily - February 10th, 2021
- Student astronomer finds galactic missing matter - News - The University of Sydney - February 10th, 2021
- Program Director, Moore Experimental Physics Investigator Initiative in Palo Alto , CA for Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation - Physics - February 10th, 2021
- The Woman Who Knew The Stars - ZME Science - February 10th, 2021
- Cosmos mapping project tied to YSU | News, Sports, Jobs - Youngstown Vindicator - February 10th, 2021
- Op-ed | Space weather bill will fizzle without funding - SpaceNews - February 10th, 2021
- How Andrei Linde Redefined the Universe - The Atlantic - February 10th, 2021
- 207's Best In Academic Achievement Named For February - Journal & Topics Newspapers Online - February 10th, 2021
- Life on Venus? The Picture Gets Cloudier - The New York Times - February 10th, 2021
- St. Mary's College Board of Trustees Approves Academic Program Changes for Fall 2021 - The Southern Maryland Chronicle - February 10th, 2021
- Widespread Report on the Global Refracting Telescope Market 2020-2028 with the Leading Players Celestron, Vixen Optics, ASTRO-PHYSICS, ORION, Barska,... - September 8th, 2020
- UK Part of New NSF Physics Frontier Center Focused on Neutron Star Modeling in 'Gravitational Wave Era' - UKNow - September 8th, 2020
- University subject profile: physics - The Guardian - September 8th, 2020
- Scientists discover first 'intermediate-mass' black hole in massive merger - Big Think - September 8th, 2020
- Looking skin deep at the growth of neutron stars - Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom - September 8th, 2020
- Scientists detect massive galactic collision between black holes that "aren't supposed to exist" - Boing Boing - September 8th, 2020
- China's secretive 'space plane' makes successful return to Earth - CNET - September 8th, 2020
- New High-Res Images of The Sun Show How Creepy Sunspots Look in Closeup - ScienceAlert - September 6th, 2020
- The End of the Universe Will Probably Be Fairly Disappointing - WIRED - September 6th, 2020
- Zooming In Tight on Dark Matter Equivalent of Being Able to See a Flea on the Surface of the Moon - SciTechDaily - September 6th, 2020
- Indian astronomers discover one of the farthest star galaxies in universe - Livemint - September 6th, 2020
- Astronomers Spot a Black Hole so Massive They Werent Sure it Could Exist - Gizmodo Australia - September 6th, 2020
- Space discoveries that will blow your mind | News | helenair.com - Helena Independent Record - September 6th, 2020
- How neutrons and protons arrange themselves in the nucleus? - Tech Explorist - September 6th, 2020
- Warped gas disc torn apart by three stars directly observed for the first time - ZME Science - September 6th, 2020
- Kentucky by Heart: Many Kentuckians have made their mark in fields of science and technology - User-generated content - September 6th, 2020
- Q&A with Astrophysics Professor, Viktor Ambartsumian International Science Prize winner Adam Burrows - The Daily Princetonian - August 17th, 2020
- Astro Bob: Hubble helps solve the mystery of why Betelgeuse faded - Duluth News Tribune - August 17th, 2020
- The Alternative to Dark Matter May be General Relativity Itself - Astrobites - August 17th, 2020
- This is the way the universe ends: not with a whimper, but a bang - Science Magazine - August 17th, 2020
- The Week of August 17, 2020 - FYI: Science Policy News - August 17th, 2020
- Nearly $13 million in federal funding awarded to University of Rochester for Physics Frontier Center - WWTI - InformNNY.com - August 17th, 2020
- The Last Supernovae - Universe Today - August 17th, 2020
- Astronomers find Milky Way look-alike galaxy 12 billion light-years away - BusinessLine - August 17th, 2020
- Dark Matter Breakthrough Allows Probing Three of the Most Popular Theories, All at the Same Time - SciTechDaily - August 17th, 2020
- Exploding Black Dwarfs Could Be the 'Last Interesting Thing to Happen in the Universe' - Gizmodo UK - August 17th, 2020
- Security Inspection Equipment Market is slated to grow rapidly in the coming years Astrophysics, Smiths Detection, Garrett, C.E.I.A., Rapiscan Systems... - August 17th, 2020
- Lovely Professional Universitys Aerospace Engineering student wins international award - The Tribune India - August 17th, 2020
- Minecraft, Bollywood Dance, and Astrophysics Help College Students Connect With Kids Online - NBC Bay Area - August 10th, 2020
- UR #26: Improved Methods for Ground-Based Follow-Up of Young Stars and Planets from the ZEIT Survey - Astrobites - August 10th, 2020
- Investigating the far-flung reaches of the universe - Times Higher Education (THE) - August 10th, 2020
- Alien life bombshell: Scientist says we will find intelligent life 'within our lifetimes' - Daily Express - August 10th, 2020
- Space roar: NASA detected the loudest sound in the universe, but what is it? - Space.com - August 10th, 2020
- From exploring immigrant identities to treating cancer: U of T awarded 29 Canada Research Chairs - News@UofT - August 10th, 2020
- A deep, giant cloud disruption found on Venus - EarthSky - August 10th, 2020
- Astronomers Sink Their Teeth Into Special Supernova Exploding Stars Produce the Calcium in Our Bones and Teeth - SciTechDaily - August 10th, 2020
- Mysterious 'fast radio burst' detected closer to Earth than ever before - Live Science - August 10th, 2020
- Half of All the Calcium in the Universe: Unprecedented Observations Shine Light on a Dying Stars Final Moments - SciTechDaily - August 10th, 2020
- Rapid Changes Detected in a Black Hole May Explain Origin of the Most Energetic Radiation in the Universe - SciTechDaily - August 10th, 2020
- What is Astrophysics? | Space - August 10th, 2020
- Astrophysics - Wikipedia - August 10th, 2020
- NASA Astrophysics | Science Mission Directorate - August 10th, 2020
- Astro-Physics - Buy Telescopes - August 10th, 2020
- An Epic, Planet-Scale Wave Has Been Hiding in The Toxic Clouds of Venus For Decades - ScienceAlert - August 10th, 2020
- Beyond the Fermi Paradox V: What is the Aestivation Hypothesis? - Universe Today - August 10th, 2020
- 'Roaming reactions' study to shed new light on atmospheric molecules - UNSW Newsroom - August 10th, 2020
- From the Italian Renaissance to the stars: an exciting approach to fulfilling GEs > News > USC Dornsife - USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts... - August 8th, 2020
- This Is How It All Ends - The New York Times - August 8th, 2020
- Ben Collins The Stig Top Gear | Surrey - Surrey Life - August 8th, 2020
- Mega Science On The Cover: Class XI Maharashtra Physics Text Shows Gravitational-Wave Detection By LIGO - Swarajya - August 8th, 2020