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Research News

Discovery of Dusty “Quartz Star”

Possible Evidence of Ongoing Planet Formation

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Graduate School of Science / Faculty of Science
2012/05/09

Artist’s impression of the dust surrounding HD 15407A. The dust, rich in quartz grains, is thought to be located about one astronomical unit from the star.© University of Tokyo/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Artist’s impression of the dust surrounding HD 15407A. The dust, rich in quartz grains, is thought to be located about one astronomical unit from the star.© University of Tokyo/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

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.

Press release

Paper

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.
Article link

Links

Graduate School of Science

Prof. Onaka Group (the University of Tokyo)

Dr Hideaki Fujiwara (Subaru Telescope, NAOJ)

AKARI Satellite (JAXA)

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