Astronomers have found for the first time spiral arms of gas around a young star. This structure resembles a mini-galaxy, but scientists cannot yet explain its origin.
Protoplanetary disks are ring-shaped disks of gas around a young star where planets could form in the future. However, this time, astronomers for the first time found a young star, which is surrounded by the same gases, but in the form of a spiral.
As stars begin to warm up, they surround themselves with layers of dust and gas. Soon, this material settles in a thin disk around the star and begins to form planets. At first, the planets are small and invisible, but as they grow, the gases around them also become larger.
These findings are based on infrared studies of dust, which is only one component of the material that surrounds a fixed star. This time, however, astronomers used the ALMA telescope to observe the young star RU Lupi and found that there was a huge cloud of gas in a spiral around the inner disk.
Astronomers aren’t sure exactly how this spiral formed. This structure reminds them of a mini-galaxy that extends over 1000 astronomical units from the star. The star RU Lupi itself is located 400 light-years from Earth.
These sleeves were invisible to scientists, they were found only after long-term observations. This means that there are other celestial bodies in space around which unusual structures can be found. Researchers are now looking for such formations around other stars.