From: Imperial College London
Published March 22, 2017 11:48 AM

Fledgling stars try to prevent their neighbours from birthing planets

Stars don't have to be massive to evaporate material from around nearby stars and affect their ability to form planets, a new study suggests.

Newly formed stars are surrounded by a disc of dense gas and dust. This is called the protoplanetary disc, as material sticks together within it to form planets. 

Stars of different shapes and sizes are all born in huge star-forming regions. Scientists know that when a protoplanetary disc around a relatively small star is very close to a massive star, the larger star can evaporate parts of the protoplanetary disc.

However, it was thought this was only the case where very large stars shone on the protoplanetary disc. Now, researchers led by Imperial College London have discovered that a protoplanetary disc shone on by only a relatively weak star is also losing material. The protoplanetary disc studied, called IM Lup, belongs to a star similar to our Sun.

Read more at Imperial College London

Image: This is a artist's impression of an evaporating protoplanetary disc.(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC))

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