Featured Image: Clumps in a Dusty Ring

These stills from a 2D hydrodynamic simulation show how a ring of dust and gas surrounding a newly born star might behave as it evolves. The frames illustrate the dust-to-gas ratio after 260 (left), 600 (center), and 1,740 (right) orbits of the dusty ring around the star. These simulations were conducted as part of a study led by Pinghui Huang (Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University, China; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Rice University). The results demonstrate how such a ring can become unstable at its edges, forming small vortices that develop into many clumps of dust. Each of these clumps contains at least 10% of Earth’s mass, potentially forming the seeds from which baby planets can grow in the environment around the young star. For more information on the authors’ results, check out the original article below.


“Meso-scale Instability Triggered by Dust Feedback in Dusty Rings: Origin and Observational Implications,” Pinghui Huang et al 2020 ApJ 893 89. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab8199