STATES CHRONICLE – On October 22 men of science argue that they have unveiled the oldest known planet generating disk. This was estimated to be 45 million years old. It represents a massive ring of dust and gasses which circulates a star. The circumstellar ring which occurs around red stars seems to have supported its disk for a very long time.
This study was recently published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters magazine. Steven Silverberg, who is a lead researcher of the survey and also a professor at the University of Oklahoma, claimed that the majority of planet generating disks fade away after 30 million years.
The red star which holds this massive ring was named a candidate for the stellar association called Carina which started about 45 million years ago. Carina represents the oldest system which contains red stars. The discovery was made possible with the help of the scientists who are part of the Disk Detective. This constitutes a project bound to reveal circumstellar rings.
During the preparations for the website of the project, users were allowed to characterize and classify some videos regarding information taken from NASA’s surveys. Among others surveys, there were Two-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) projects and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission (WISE).
The website first appeared in January 2014. Since then there were 30,000 scientists who have developed two million categorizations of celestial objects. Marc Kuchner, who is a spokesperson from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, has asserted that without receiving the help of the users who have been analyzing the objects, they might have never revealed such a spectacular planet generating disk.
The WISE mission has revealed approximately 747 million celestial objects. Scientists from NASA assume that at least a few thousand are planet-forming disks. Experts know that it is pretty hard to infer the age of a star, but they have known the Carina association for a very long time now. The motions of these stars through the cosmos suggest that they were born approximately at the same time.
Jonathan Gagne, who is a professor at Carnegie Institution for Science, has asserted that he believes that this kind of phenomenon is unique because usually, a planet generating disk dissipates within a few million years. This one has managed to survive for almost 45 million years. This disk may suggest that extrasolar planets could exist.
Image source: wikipedia