An international research team, led by Chin-Fei Lee in Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA, Taiwan), has made a new high-fidelity image with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), catching a protostar (baby star) being fed with a dusty “hamburger”, which is a dusty accretion disk. This new image not only confirms the formation of an accretion disk around a very young protostar, but also reveals the vertical structure of the disk for the first time in the earliest phase of star formation. It not only poses a big challenge on some current theories of disk formation, but also potentially brings us key insights on the processes of grain growth and settling that are important to planet formation.
This Astronomer Says We'll Find Alien Life Within The Next Decade
From highly trained scientists toiling away at research institutes to amateur enthusiasts gazing upward from their backyards, humanity boasts no shortage of people looking for life beyond Earth.
Add to that the massive size of the Universe - estimates range in the trillions of galaxies - and probability dictates that we should have already encountered another species by now. And yet, we still have no evidence that we aren't alone in the Universe.
However, according to astronomy researcher Chris Impey, this hunt for life beyond Earth may soon yield results.