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Zooming in on the young double star HK Tauri

30 July, 2014 / Read time: 1 minute

This video takes us from a broad view of the sky deep into the star forming clouds of Taurus, about 434 light-years away. A binary star is a system of 2 stars orbiting around a common center of mass.

The video starts with a wide view of the Milky Way, slowly approaching the Taurus molecular cloud. Then, we can see the two stars and their surrounding molecular clouds. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observations of this system, have provided the clearest picture ever of protoplanetary discs in a double star. The new result demonstrates one possible way to explain why so many exoplanets — unlike the planets in the Solar System — came to have strange, eccentric or inclined orbits.

The video concludes with an artistic representation of both stars, surrounded by their own disks at different inclination angles.

Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org). Music: movetwo