Study of planetary disks around T Tauri stars
If David Weintraub and Jeff Bary are right, there may be a lot more planets circling stars like the Sun than current models of star and planet formation predict.
The associate professor of astronomy at Vanderbilt and his graduate student are taking a critical look at T Tauri stars. These are stellar adolescents, less than 10 million years old, which are destined to become stars similar to the Sun as they age.
Classical T Tauri stars – those less than 3 million years old – are invariably accompanied by a thick disk of dust and gas, which is often called a protoplanetary disk because it is a breeding ground for planet formation. Most older T Tauri stars show no signs of encircling disks. Because they are not old enough for planets to form, astronomers have concluded that most of these stars must loose their disk material before planetary systems can develop.
David F. Salisbury | EurekAlert!
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