Beginning of the birth of planets in a binary star system

(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers have observed the primordial material that could give rise to three planetary systems within a binary star system in an unprecedented level of detail.

After analyzing the results of observations collected over the past 30 years, an international team of researchers studied a pair of stars orbiting one another and found that these stars are surrounded by gas and dust disks.

In their work, the researchers show that the material inside these newly discovered disks can give rise to new planetary systems that, over time, will orbit binary stars.

Using the Very Large Array (VLA) and Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio observatories, the team studied the binary star SVS 13, which is still in its “embryo” phase.

“Our results show that each of the two stars is surrounded by a disk of gas and dust and that, in addition, a single, larger disk forms around the two stars,” said Ana Karla Diaz-Rodriguez. , researcher at the Astrophysical Institute of Andalusia, Spain, who led this work.

The binary system SVS 13, consisting of two stellar embryos with a common mass close to the mass of the Sun, is relatively close to us, at a distance of only 980 light years, and this has allowed it to be studied in a high level of detail.

The two stars located in this system are very close to each other, at a distance of only 90 AU (1 AU is equal to the average distance from the Earth to the Sun).

The work carried out made it possible to study the composition of gas, dust, and ionized material in the system.

In addition, almost 30 different molecules have been identified in the vicinity of these protostars, including thirteen complex organic molecules that are precursors (chemical precursors) of biological molecules.

“This means that by the time planets begin to form in a two-star system, the building blocks of life are already present in the material,” said Ana Carla Diaz-Rodriguez.

The scientific team used the observations of the SVS 13 system obtained using the VLA observatory over a period of 30 years, together with new data collected using the ALMA observatory, which made it possible to track the movement of both stars during this period, as well as determine the geometry and orientation of this system, a large number of fundamental parameters, such as the mass of protostars, masses of disks and their temperatures.

Overall, this new study not only sheds light on the nature of the two protostars and their environs, but also provides information on important parameters for testing numerical models that allow us to calculate the early stages of the formation of binary and multiple systems.

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