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ToSeek
2004-May-27, 09:23 PM
NASA Telescope Finds Likely Young Planet (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1894&e=1&u=/ap/20040527/ap_on_sc/baby_planet)


One of NASA (news - web sites)'s space telescopes has discovered what scientists believe may be the youngest planet ever spied — a celestial body that at 1 million years old or less is a cosmic toddler.

In its first major findings, announced Thursday, the Spitzer Space Telescope also has shown that protostars, or developing stars, "are as common as the cicadas in the trees here on the East Coast" and that the planetary construction zones around infant stars have considerable ice that could produce future oceans.

George
2004-May-27, 09:45 PM
NASA Telescope Finds Likely Young Planet (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1894&e=1&u=/ap/20040527/ap_on_sc/baby_planet)


One of NASA (news - web sites)'s space telescopes has discovered what scientists believe may be the youngest planet ever spied — a celestial body that at 1 million years old or less is a cosmic toddler.

In its first major findings, announced Thursday, the Spitzer Space Telescope also has shown that protostars, or developing stars, "are as common as the cicadas in the trees here on the East Coast" and that the planetary construction zones around infant stars have considerable ice that could produce future oceans.


It's a double dose of dazzling data! =D>

I hope we get a cool picture of the planetary discovery.


University of Rochester astronomer Dan Watson said a sharply defined hole in the middle of the disk suggests that a planet created the opening. That gaseous planet would have been formed sometime since the star's formation.
Hmmm....Are there more than one middle to a disk?

George
2004-May-27, 09:51 PM
Like cracking open a quartz rock to discover its jewels inside, the nebula's newborn stars have been dramatically exposed.

Spitzer image.... here (http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/Media/releases/ssc2004-08/ssc2004-08a.shtml).

Stunning, as usual. =D> :)

01101001
2004-May-27, 09:59 PM
NASA Telescope Finds Likely Young Planet (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1894&e=1&u=/ap/20040527/ap_on_sc/baby_planet)


In its first major findings, announced Thursday, the Spitzer Space Telescope also has shown that protostars, or developing stars, "are as common as the cicadas in the trees here on the East Coast" and that the planetary construction zones around infant stars have considerable ice that could produce future oceans.

"Like cicadas in trees" isn't a very good simile for those who have never seen the effect, or a good picture of same. Courtesy of "Coast To Coast AM", I present: cicadas on a telephone pole (http://www.coasttocoastam.com/timages/page/BroodX_04c.jpg). (Ignore the partially disembodied man standing next to the pole. He is just feeding the cicadas with his aura or something.)

George
2004-May-27, 10:35 PM
:) I suppose that is you (in analog). :)

The cicadas would be a good test for sound in space, as well.

ToSeek
2004-May-27, 11:59 PM
Press release:


Whitney Clavin (818) 354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Nancy Neal/Dwayne Brown (202) 358-1547/1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington

News Release: 2004-133*****May 27, 2004

Raw Ingredients For Life Detected in Planetary Construction Zones

NASA has announced new findings from the Spitzer Space Telescope, including the discovery of significant amounts of icy organic materials sprinkled throughout several "planetary construction zones," or dusty planet-forming discs, which circle infant stars.

These materials, icy dust particles coated with water, methanol and carbon dioxide, may help explain the origin of icy planetoids like comets. Scientists believe these comets may have endowed Earth with some of its water and many of its biogenic, life-enabling materials.

Drs. Dan Watson and William Forrest of the University of Rochester, N.Y, identified the ices. They surveyed five very young stars in the constellation Taurus, 420 light-years from Earth. Previous studies identified similar organic materials in space, but this is the first time they were seen unambiguously in the dust making up planet-forming discs.

In another finding, Spitzer surveyed a group of young stars and found intriguing evidence that one of them may have the youngest planet detected. The observatory found a clearing in the disc around the star CoKu Tau 4. This might indicate an orbiting planet swept away the disc material, like a vacuum leaving a cleared trail on a dirty carpet. The new findings reveal the structure of the gap more clearly than ever before. Because CoKu Tau 4 is about one million years old, the possible planet would be even younger. As a comparison, Earth is approximately 4.5-billion years old.

"These early results show Spitzer will dramatically expand our understanding of how stars and planets form, which ultimately helps us understand our origins," said Dr. Michael Werner, Spitzer project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory , Pasadena, Calif., which manages the mission.

Spitzer also discovered two of the farthest and faintest planet-forming discs ever observed. These discs surround two of more than 300 newborn stars uncovered for the first time in a stunning new image of the dusty stellar nursery called RCW 49. It is approximately13,700 light-years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus.

"Preliminary data suggest that all 300 or more stars harbor discs, but so far we've only looked closely at two. Both were found to have discs," said Dr. Ed Churchwell of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., principal investigator of the RCW 49 research, with Dr. Barbara Whitney of Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.

Planet-forming, or "protoplanetary," discs are a natural phase in a star's life. A star is born inside a dense envelope of gas and dust. Within this envelope, and circling the star, is a flat, dusty disc, where planets are born.

"By seeing what's behind the dust, Spitzer has shown us star and planet formation is a very active process in our galaxy," Churchwell said.

Spitzer's exquisitely sensitive infrared eyes can see planet-forming discs in great detail. "Previously, scientists could study only a small sample of discs, but Spitzer is already on its way toward analyzing thousands of discs," Werner said.

Spitzer's infrared spectrograph instrument, which breaks apart infrared light to see the signatures of various chemicals, was used to observe the organic ices and the clearing within CoKu Tau 4's disc. Spitzer's infrared array camera found the new stars in RCW 49. Papers on the research will appear in the September 1 issue of the journal Astrophysical Journal Supplements. For images and information about the research on the Internet, visit: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu and http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov .

JPL manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. JPL is a division of Caltech. Spitzer's infrared spectrograph was built by Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and Ball Aerospace Corporation, Boulder, Colo. The instrument's development was led by Dr. Jim Houck of Cornell. Spitzer's infrared array camera was built by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The camera's development was led by Dr. Giovanni Fazio of Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass.

Captain Kidd
2004-May-28, 11:11 AM
Yahoo news also has another article (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=570&u=/nm/20040527/sc_nm/space_planet_dc_1&printer=1) about it. There's a line in there that caught my attention.

"The object is only a million years old," [Dan Watson of the University of Rochester] said. "That probably makes it the youngest planet that we've ever seen, and young enough that it really causes problems for the major theories of planetary formation."
How does this cause problems?

George
2004-May-28, 03:14 PM
Yahoo news also has another article (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=570&u=/nm/20040527/sc_nm/space_planet_dc_1&printer=1) about it. There's a line in there that caught my attention.

"The object is only a million years old," [Dan Watson of the University of Rochester] said. "That probably makes it the youngest planet that we've ever seen, and young enough that it really causes problems for the major theories of planetary formation."
How does this cause problems?


One theory of planetary formation holds that planets form when small objects called planetessimals slam together and stick, gradually building up a planetary mass. A planet made by quickly collecting itself from the planetary dust around a star is a different way of looking at the problem, and would allow for planets to form much earlier in the process.
Apparently, the assumption has been that planets form later after gas/dust form little objects which grow by aggregation into planets as opposed to the idea that they are formed early from dust and gas within the disk.

Hopefully the BA will shed more light on this discovery as he is knowledgeable in disk theory, I think.

I wonder if we might see many rings around early planets.

[I also wonder if the image will present an early planet that is "without form and void" :) ]

Captain Kidd
2004-May-28, 04:47 PM
Thanks! :D

ChesleyFan
2004-May-28, 06:38 PM
These findings seem to do a lot more toward supporting planetary formation theories than causing problems. Alan Boss suggested that gas giants may form very rapidly through direct collapse of disk fragments under their own gravity, which could happen in as little as a few hundred years. This theory still maintains that rocky planets form under accretion. (S&T, April 2003, has a whole article devoted to planetary formation theory, if you can find it).

harlequin
2004-May-28, 11:47 PM
One has just got to love the "Reuters Photo"!

If Reuters has got a telescope taking pictures a few thousand times better than Hubble I wish they would let us know.

:wink:

ToSeek
2004-Nov-10, 05:43 PM
Theorists Tackle Astronomer's Mysterious 'Baby' Planet (http://www.physorg.com/news1913.html)


In June, researchers from the University of Rochester announced they had located a potential planet around another star so young that it defied theorists' explanations. Now a new team of Rochester planet-formation specialists are backing up the original conclusions, saying they’ve confirmed that the hole formed in the star’s dusty disk could very well have been formed by a new planet. The findings have implications for gaining insight into how our own solar system came to be, as well as finding other possibly habitable planetary systems throughout our galaxy.

George
2004-Nov-10, 10:55 PM
I am confused on several points.


The research team found that there was an abrupt dearth of light radiating at all short infrared wavelengths, strongly suggesting that the central part of the disk was absent. Scientists know of only one phenomenon that can tunnel such a distinct “hole” in the disk during the short lifetime of the star—a planet at least 100,000 years old
What do they mean by "hole"? What does "central part of the disk was absent" mean? Are they saying there is little or no disk from the proposed planet to the star, a distance about that of Neptune's orbit? That makes little sense. Why attribute this void to a Neptune class planet and not the central star?

I do like the planetary model mystery....as per the article...
Core accretion model- not likely due to the age being too young.
Gravity instability model - Age is ok but where did the disk go?

ToSeek
2004-Nov-12, 06:52 PM
The Planet that Shouldn't Be (http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid= 1298&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0)


Theories of planet formation have certain prerequisites: the solar system that hosts the planet should be of a certain age, temperature and size. For planet hunters, the outliers may present some of the most interesting candidates. One such Neptune-class planet seems to defy the rules.

George
2004-Nov-12, 07:38 PM
The Planet that Shouldn't Be (http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid= 1298&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0)


Theories of planet formation have certain prerequisites: the solar system that hosts the planet should be of a certain age, temperature and size. For planet hunters, the outliers may present some of the most interesting candidates. One such Neptune-class planet seems to defy the rules.
But where is the hole? Wasn't there talk of a planetary accretion disk back in June or so? #-o I thought this would create a hole in the disk.

But then I read this...

The dust in the disk is hotter in the center near the star and so radiates most of its light at shorter wavelengths than the cooler outer reaches of the disk. The research team found that there was an abrupt dearth of light radiating at all short infrared wavelengths, strongly suggesting that the central part of the disk was absent.
This sounds like the entire central zone is the "hole". Yet, they also seem to say the inner disk is fine up to a point where the proposed planet is. I am still confused? I see only "holes" in the way I read the articles, which I tolerate when I consider the number in my head. :)