The Protoplanetary Disk - The Brief News Analysis

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05 March 2024

Ravi Shankar Kumar || ExamVatika.com

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A protoplanetary disk is a disk of gas and dust, orbiting a newly formed star, from which planets may eventually form or be in the process of forming.

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Disks are common by-products of star formation, and range in mass from 0.001 to 0.3 Solar masses and in size from several tens to almost 1,000 Astronomical units.

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Stars form from cold interstellar molecular clouds. A molecule cloud is an interstellar cloud of gas and dust in which molecules can form, the most common of which is hydrogen.

As they collapse into protostars under the force of gravity, the remaining matter forms a spinning disk. Eventually, the star stops accreting matter, leaving the disk in orbit around it.

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The leftover gas and dust inside that protoplanetary disk become the ingredients for planet formation.

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Organic molecules present in the original molecular cloud become part of the protoplanetary disk and the planets that form from it.

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The chemical composition of the protoplanetary disk determines the composition of the eventual planets that form from it.

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Protoplanetary disks typically disperse after 2-3 million years through the coalescence of their matter into planets and photoevaporation by the stellar radiation.