A team of international astronomers captured 15 images of the interior of a planet’s disks. The image shows the inner rims of the planet’s disks which are almost a few light-years away. The disks of gas and dust are almost similar to the shape of a music record. But all of these disks form around a young star. This image helps understand how planetary systems came into existence.
The study is available online in the Journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. But in order to understand the way how planetary systems take shape, including our own, one needs to study their origins. These disks are protoplanetary disks, formed in unison along with the star they are surrounded by. But the dust particles in the disks grow into large bodies which then leads to the formation of planets. Earth, a rocky planet is a result of such occurrence in the inner regions of protoplanetary disks.
Image reconstruction to understand the Star formation
The images in the study were all captured using the largest single-mirror telescopes, but they cannot capture fine details. In the images, the disc regions close to the star is where the rocky planet formations take place. But all of these regions appear pixelated in the image.
Distinguishing such small differences is equivalent to observing a man standing on the surface of the Moon. The image reconstruction requires to be precise by a fraction of Earth-Sun distance. It is almost like finding out a strand of hair in a road 10km in length. But a new method of detection helped overcome this limitation. Infrared Thermometry along with combinatoric mathematics allowed to turn all such observations into real images.
In the image some spots appear brighter than others, these are the spots of planet formation around the star. Astronomers can now finally deduce the mystery behind planet formation.
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