Sherlocks Holmes investigates the scene of a crime for clues about whodunit. Today’s paper investigates the massacre of circumstellar disks in a star cluster for clues about the cluster itself.
One of the best ways to look for planets around stars is to look for wobbles in the stellar spectrum using state of the art spectrographs. Unfortunately, processes on the star like star spots can also cause shifts in the spectrum. Today’s astrobite uses the Sun to link sunspots to shifts in the solar spectrum. These lessons will help to discover Earth-twins orbiting other stars.
Molecular clouds, where new stars are born, are made of two components: gas and dust. The gas is mostly hydrogen, and the dust is made of elements crucial for forming planets and people, like silicon and carbon. Today’s paper shows that these two components behave very differently in a simulated molecular cloud. This could have exciting consequences for the growth of dust and the formation of stars and planets.
Observations of dwarf galaxies show that sites of active star formation have fewer metals. These galaxies may have been diluted by the impact of pristine gas from the cosmic web.
Last year, an image was released that took our breath away. Exquisite rings carved in a disk of material around a nearby star. Now, astronomers want to know if forming planets are responsible, and why the image might look different from the cartoon in your textbook.