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the detection and study of pre-planetary disksA variety of evidence suggests that at least 50% of low-mass stars are surrounded by disks of the gas and dust similar to the nebula that surrounded the Sun before the formation of the planets. The properties of these disks may bear strongly on the way in which planetary systems form and evolve. As a result of major instrumental developments over the last decade, it is now possible to detect and study the circumstellar environments of the very young, solar-type stars in some detail, and to compare the results with theoretical models of the early solar system. For example, millimeter-wave aperture synthesis imaging provides a direct means of studying in detail the morphology, temperature and density distributions, velocity field and chemical constituents in the outer disks, while high resolution, near infrared spectroscopy probes the inner, warmer parts; the emergence of gaps in the disks, possibly reflecting the formation of planets, may be reflected in the variation of their dust continuum emission with wavelength. We review progress to date and discuss likely directions for future research.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Sargent, A. I.
(California Inst. of Technology, Pasadena, CA US, United States)
Beckwith, S. V. W.
(Max Planck Institut fuer Astronomie Heidelberg, Germany)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Astrophysics and Space Science
Volume: 212
ISSN: 0004-640X
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits

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