Planets form around a young star.  This is the first discovery of its kind in history

Their prey fell onto a gravitationally stretched disk of dust and gas orbiting a particular star. This galaxy is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is one of the galaxies belonging to the Milky Way. It is about 179,000 light-years away from our galaxy, and its diameter is about 14,000 light-years. By comparison, the Milky Way is about eight times larger.

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Of course, the mere presence of a disk orbiting a young star is no big surprise. If the laws operating in the universe are universal, there must be many such structures. Unfortunately, astronomers have so far had difficulty capturing it, at least outside the Milky Way. According to the post published in: natureThis is the first discovery of its kind outside the borders of our galaxy.

So-called accretion disks appear to be one of the fundamental elements associated with the birth of planetary systems. Everything indicates that there is something similar around the young Sun. Within these disks, protoplanets are formed, which over time may turn into full-fledged planets.

An accretion disk has been observed around a very young star known as HH 1177

More specifically, first a star is born, which consists of dense clusters of clouds of molecular gas and dust. Over time, this cloud collapses under the influence of gravity and begins to absorb more and more material from the surroundings. However, it does not fall directly on the protostar, but rather revolves around it in the form of a disk at the equator. Its behavior can be compared to water flowing down a drain.

In this disk, masses of material collide and combine to form larger bodies. Planets, asteroids, comets and other objects are formed. A sort of reminder of the existence of an accretion disk is that all of these objects orbit the Sun in an almost identical plane. While tracking similar disks in the Milky Way was not unusual, detecting them beyond the boundaries of our galaxy was much more challenging.

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An important introduction to the research was provided by the MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscope Explorer) instrument mounted on the Very Large Telescope. Thanks to him, the presence of a jet in the system called HH 1177 was discovered. Later, it was necessary to use the ALMA radio interferometer, which confirmed the rotation patterns. According to members of the research team, the star there is very small and massive. It is still supported by gas and material in the surrounding disk. Interestingly, the accretion disk around HH 1177 can be seen at optical wavelengths. According to the researchers, this may be due to the lower dust content in the Large Magellanic Cloud compared to the Milky Way.

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