Stars

ALMA image of HL Tau at left; VLA image, showing clump of dust, at right (Image Carrasco-Gonzalez, et al.; Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF)

An article submitted to “Astrophysical Journal Letters” describes a research on the forming planets in the HL Tauri system. An international team used the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to observe new details of what appear to be the first stages of the aggregation of dust and various materials around their star.

An image of the HD 142527 binary star system from observations made with the ALMA radio telescope (Image Andrea Isella/Rice University; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ)

At the meeting of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) just concluded in Washington, D.C. the latest results were presented about the observations of the HD 142527 star system carried out with the ALMA radio telescope. It’s been an object of study by astronomers for some time and is particularly interesting because it’s very young. This means that around the central star there’s a ring of gas and dust that is probably forming one or more planets but there’s also a second star. This type of study will help to understand the formation of planets in binary systems.

Simulation of the Sun's magnetic field in January 2011 (on the left) and July 2014 (on th right) (Image NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Bridgman)

Using data obtained by its SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) space probe, NASA scientists have created a simulation of the solar magnetic field. This represents an aid in the understanding of its influence on what happens in the Sun, a series of phenomena that have important effects in the solar system. Solar explosions causing auroras are the most visible consequence but there are also other ones such as the interplanetary magnetic field and the radiation that spacecraft must go through to travel through the solar system.

Image of the Trumpler 14 cluster obtained combining photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (Image NASA, ESA, and J. Maíz Apellániz (Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, Spain), Acknowledgment: N. Smith (University of Arizona))

The Hubble Space Telescope was used to capture the details of of the Trumpler 14 open cluster. This is one of the largest groups of stars that are massive and as a consequence very bright in the Milky Way. It’s a young cluster in astronomical terms as its aged is about half a million years. It has a diameter of about six light years and within it about 2,000 stars of very diverse masses were identified.