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Interstellar
Sagittarii
06/12/09

 

Submillimeter Array image of the rotating, gaseous disk surrounding the young twin-star system V4046 Sagittarii (located at the white dot in the image). Note the size of the V4046 Sagittarii disk relative to the orbit of Neptune, shown to scale at the lower right (the filled oval at lower left represents the size of the smallest structures that could be detected in the image). The disk is tipped from our perspective, such that it appears as elliptical rather than circular. The image is color-coded according to the motion of the gas in the system, with blue representing material that is approaching and red representing material that is receding from us. The fastest-moving approaching and receding gas is detected closest to the central binary star system. This disk gas likely represents the raw material out of which Pluto-like bodies, comets, and perhaps gas giant planets will form (or might already have formed) around the double star.<br/>Credit: <em>RIT</em>



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