Thursday, October 11, 2012

Spiral Structure Around R Sculptoris

Observations using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have revealed an unexpected spiral structure in the material around the old star R Sculptoris. This feature has never been seen before and is probably caused by a hidden companion star orbiting the star. This slice through the new ALMA data reveals the shell around the star, which shows up as the outer circular ring, as well as a very clear spiral structure in the inner material.

Image credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/M. Maercker et al.

Note: For more information, see Surprising Spiral Structure Spotted by ALMA.

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