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Direct Images of Disks and Planet Formation

On February 17 2011 the SEEDS project (Strategic Explorations of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru: PI Motohide Tamura, NAOJ and University of Tokyo) announced new, high-resolution images of the protoplanetary disks around two nearby young stars, AB Aur and LkCa15. Both disks show fine detail on a scale of about 30 AU (the distance between the Sun and Neptune). The AB Aur disk has two tilted, irregular rings, while the LkCa15 disk has a large inner gap, in both cases possible results of giant planet formation.

 

Princeton Astrophysics is a founding member of the SEEDS collaboration, and several of its members - faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduate students - are active members of the SEEDS research team. For further information see:

 

Subaru Telescope Press Release 

 

Team using Subaru Telescope makes major discovery

 

Astronomers from Princeton and Japan unite to explore the universe, near and far