Nasa spots two mega solar
Pasadena (California), Feb.
9: Astronomers said on Wednesday they have spotted evidence of two mega
solar systems — giant stars enveloped by what appear to be huge disks of
planet-forming dust. Cloudy disks around stars are believed to represent
current or future planetary systems. Our sun is surrounded by the Kuiper
Belt, a disk containing dust, comets and other bodies. Astronomers said
the latest findings were surprising because such massive stars are thought
to be inhospitable to the formation of planets.
“Our data suggest that the
planet-forming process may be hardier than previously believed, occurring
around even the most massive stars,” Joel Kastner, of the Rochester Institute
of Technology, said in a statement.
Results appear in the February
10 issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters. The new stars were measured
to be 30 to 70 times more massive than the sun. Because of the stars’ size,
scientists said the surrounding debris disks are larger versions of the
Kuiper Belt and probably contain about 10 times more mass. The new stars
were found using Nasa’s spitzer space telescope during a survey of 60 bright
stars. Mr Kastner said the new discoveries stuck out from the rest because
an analysis indicated the presence of flat disks.