Discovery of Dusty “Quartz Star”
Possible Evidence of Ongoing Planet Formation
Graduate School of Science
A research team of astronomers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the University of Tokyo has discovered a rare main-sequence star that possesses a large amount of quartz dust. The team made their observations using two infrared space telescopes, AKARI and Spitzer, operated by JAXA and NASA respectively. The quartz dust may have been produced by collisions of planetesimals, the building blocks of planets, during the planet formation process around the star. The discovery of this intriguing star will open a new horizon of research on the mineralogical nature of extrasolar planetary systems.
Hideaki Fujiwara, Takashi Onaka, Takuya Yamashita, Daisuke Ishihara, Hirokazu Kataza, Misato Fukagawa, Yoichi Takeda, and Hiroshi Murakami,
“Silica-Rich Bright Debris Disk around HD 15407A”,
The Astrophysical Journal Letters doi:10.1088/2041-8205/749/2/L29