Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have made the first direct observations delineating the gas disk around a baby star from the infalling gas envelope. This finding fills an important missing piece in our understanding of the early phases of stellar evolution.
Artist’s impression of the baby star TMC-1A. The star is located in the center and surrounded by a rotating gas disk. Gas is infalling to the disk from the envelope further out. (Credit: NAOJ)
A research team, led by Yusuke Aso (a graduate student at the University of Tokyo) and Nagayoshi Ohashi (a professor at the Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan) observed the baby star named TMC-1A located 450 light years away from us, in the constellation Taurus (the Bull). TMC-1A is a protostar, a star still in the process of forming. Large amounts of gas still surround TMC-1A.
For details, see Press Release:
ALMA Spots Baby Star's Growing Blanket.
These observational results were published as Aso et al. "ALMA Observations of the Transition from Infall Motion to Keplerian Rotation around the Late-phase Protostar TMC-1A " in the Astrophysical Journal, issued in October 2015.