A team led by Anthony Boccaletti, an astronomer at the Observatoire de Paris, PSL University, wanted to take a closer look at this nascent world, which has produced some of “the most spectacular spirals imaged so far,” according to the new study.
“We went to that star because we already knew it was interesting if we wanted to investigate planet formation,” Boccaletti said in a call. “We knew the star was surrounded by gas and dust. In addition to that, we knew the disk had specific structural spirals in a cavity.”
Scientists think that this spiraling effect is the signature of interactions between budding planets and the gassy dusty material that both surrounds and nourishes them. The mass of these young worlds produces wave-like ripples in the gas disk, which are then distorted into spirals as the planet orbits its star. At the same time as it sculpts these disk spirals, the baby planet also incorporates gas into its growing body.
“In this way, the planet accretes and accumulates the gas and it forms a huge envelope we see in the giant planets in our solar system,” such as Jupiter or Saturn, Boccaletti said. “To build these atmospheres of gas, you really need something to bring the gas from somewhere and put it on the planet. This is the process we believe is working for these kinds of planets.”
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction