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Exoplanetary Scratchpad

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The nearest planet forming age star discovered with a protoplanetary disk and the nearest solar-type star with a gas-rich disk. Has a face on orientation as seen from Earth. Also the nearest classical T-Tauri star, 176 ly and 10 million years old. It is one of the oldest protoplanetary disks known, and if it ever would form planets, that time would be now. It was thought to have contained the youngest known exoplanet and first known one within its protoplanetary disk, but this was later chalked up to the rotation of starspots. Gives astronomers a glimpse of what the Solar System may have been like in its infancy and test planetary formation theories. Large amounts of water have been detected in this system. They occur in the outer parts of the system where comet formation is easy. It is formed from photodesorption, which liberates water molecules from rocks. They could provide enough water for a thousand Earths. This is the first time the amount of water could be measured. It was found to have enough mass for 50 Jupiters. Hubble found evidence of a planet forming further than any other known planet (twice as far as Pluto), thought to be 6-28 Earth's mass. Radio observations showed it with more details, including a gap at Earth-like distances where a super Earth may be forming. Theories say a planet would take over 2 billion years to form, but this star is too young. Planetary effects on the ring might be due to gas instead. The location of its CO snow line has been calculated and detected by observing where N2H+ is (30 AU), which is easily destroyed by CO gas, and abundant where it has frozen out. Principal member of the TW Hydrae Association, the closest youngest association to the sun with about 2 dozen stars, including some rogue planets.

TW Hydrae System Web Pages[]

TW Hydrae System In the News[]

Dust Disk Discovered (Jun 2005)[]

Protoplanetary disk discovered around the nearest and most observable star that could be forming planets right. It very young and about as massive as the Sun, giving astronomers a glimpse at what the solar system may have been like in its infancy.

Youngest Exoplanet Discovered (Jan 2008)[]

Protoplanet Disproven - Most Likely Due to Starspots (2008)[]

Most Water-Rich System Known (2011)[]

Dust Disk Weighed with Precision (2013)[]

Dust Disk Gaps Might Indicate Gas, Not Planet (2013)[]

CO Frost Line Detected (2013)[]

Hubble Hints at Very Distant Planet Formation (2013)[]

Radio Observations Show Earth-Like Gap (2016)[]

See also HL Tau System

See Also[]