The results suggest that the conditions for rocky planet formation can occur in a possible broader range of environments than previously thought, and a study of the conditions in an inner disk of the extreme environment Lobster Nebula, a massive star-forming region, is crucial for understanding planetary formation. Webb, which has the sensitivity to study planet-forming disks in these massive star-forming regions, detected a range of molecules considered to be building blocks for rocky planets in the protoplanetary disk. The implications for rocky planet formation are significant, challenging previous beliefs and providing new insights into exoplanet diversity, and the results have been published in The Astrophysical Journal.
The James Webb Space Telescope, an international program led by NASA along with its partners ESA and the Canadian Space Agency, is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb’s mission is solving mysteries in our solar system and beyond by probing the structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.
Source: “XUE: Molecular Inventory in the Inner Region of an Extremely Irradiated Protoplanetary Disk” by María Claudia Ramírez-Tannus, Arjan Bik, Lars Cuijpers, Rens Waters, Christiane Göppl, Thomas Henning, Inga Kamp, Thomas Preibisch, Konstantin V. Getman, Germán Chaparro, Pablo Cuartas-Restrepo, Alex de Koter, Eric D. Feigelson, Sierra L. Grant, Thomas J. Haworth, Sebastián Hernández, Michael A. Kuhn, Giulia Perotti, Matthew S. Povich, Megan Reiter, Veronica Roccatagliata, Elena Sabbi, Benoit Tabone, Andrew J. Winter, Anna F. McLeod, Roy van Boekel, and Sierk E. van Terwisga, 30 November 2023, The Astrophysical Journal Letters. DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/ad03f8