The Births of Stars and Planetary Systems
Throughout the universe, stars like our Sun are born in stellar nurseries. These are places of extremely high-density gas and dust. Infrared wavelengths are critical when observing these regions, since they often cannot be probed any other way. The high-resolution infrared capability of the Subaru Telescope continues to unveil how stars are created. Researchers have successfully imaged planets outside of our solar system as well as the birthplace of planets - disks made of dust and gas. Such findings help us understand the diversity and universality of extrasolar planets.
Comment from researchers
We can see the process of stellar and planetary formation from both the macro and micro points of view using the wide view and sharp imaging that the Subaru Telescope provides. These observations may answer many important questions about how a planet is formed or how various stars are being born with masses that can be as low as that of a planet, or 100 times greater than our Sun. In the 21st century, we have entered an era where it is now possible to probe for exoplanet life. As a pioneer, the Subaru Telescope will capture earth-like exoplanets that can harbor life. We will then study signs of life with the next generation Thirty Meter Telescope. The Subaru Telescope makes this ambitious enterprise a reality.
Dr. Motohide Tamura
(University of Tokyo/Astrobiology Center/NAOJ)