Astronomers have discovered a special disk outside our galaxy that forms planets and stars. They discovered a massive young star in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy close to our own Milky Way. This star attracts matter and thus forms a rotating disk.
Such disks that make up planets have been discovered before. But this is the first time scientists have found such a disk outside our Milky Way galaxy, astronomers say. nature.
The discovery was made by ALMA, a large radio telescope in Chile, in cooperation with the European Southern Observatory. The disk was named HH 1177.
Astronomers call HH 1177 an extragalactic accretion disk. Stars and planets are formed due to the contraction of matter. The small molecules then clump together to form larger objects. This is called accumulation.
“We saw the massive young star emitting a beam of heavy matter,” the astronomers said. This already indicates that the accretion disk was forming around the star. This assumption has now been confirmed because scientists have actually seen the material orbiting the star.
The material attracted to the growing star is crushed and orbited around the star. The closer the flat material is to the star, the faster the disc rotates. According to the researchers, this difference in speed is “conclusive evidence that it is a planet-forming disk.”
The light from the disk can be clearly seen due to the absence of dust
Light is emitted as the disc rotates. The speed difference across this light was measured by the ALMA high-resolution telescope.
It can be compared to an ambulance driving near the siren. The frequency – or tone – increases as the ambulance approaches. Once the car passes, the frequency drops again and the pitch becomes lower. This is called the Doppler effect, named after the Austrian scientist Christian Doppler.
Although the disk is identical to that in our Milky Way Galaxy, the material attracted to the star in the Large Magellanic Cloud is different. In that galaxy, about 160,000 light-years away, there is much less dust. This gave astronomers an unobstructed view of the formation of stars and planets.
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