An international team has discovered unexpectedly cold dust grains in a planet-forming disk nicknamed the flying saucer of about 400 light years from Earth.
The team led by Stephane Guilloteau in the Laboratory of Astrophysics of Bordeaux, France, measured the temperature of large grains of dust around the young star called “2MASS J16281370-2431391” in the spectacular region of Rho Ophiuchi star formation.
This star is surrounded by a disk of gas and dust. Such discs are called protoplanetary discs because they are the first steps in the creation of planetary systems.
They were able to create sharp images and found something strange – in some cases they saw a negative sign.
Normally, a negative signal is physically impossible, but in this case there is an explanation, which leads to a startling conclusion.
This is the first direct measurement of the temperature of the large grains (with sizes of about a millimeter) in such objects.