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More Images of TW Hya Association
Click for large jpg Multipanel
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Click for large jpg TWA 8 - X-ray
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Click for large jpg TWA 8 - IR
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Click for large jpg TWA 9 - X-ray
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Click for large jpg TWA 9 - IR
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Click for large jpg TWA 13 - X-ray
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Click for large jpg TWA 13 - IR
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Chandra X-ray & 2MASS Infrared Images of TWA 8, 9 & 13
A study of the TW Hya association suggests that young stars much less massive than the Sun can unleash a torrent of X-rays, which can significantly shorten the lifetime of disks surrounding them. These disks, as depicted in this artist's illustration, are where planets will ultimately form so scientists may have to revisit the star formation process and the early lives of planets around such faint stars. This new finding is based on Chandra observations of TW Hya, a sample of which is seen in the inset, and data from several other telescopes.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIT/J.Kastner et al; Infrared: 2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF)

Illustrations of Tw Hydra
The first illustration (left) depicts one of the relatively high mass stars, which has a large number of flares and spots. This is a sign of its enhanced X-ray production, which is thinning and destroying the remnants of its planet-forming disk. The second illustration (right) shows one of the lower mass, fainter stars. Because it is not as active in X-rays, it has retained a thicker disk that represents a more suitable environment to form planets. The planet formation process would cause gaps, not shown in this illustration, to appear in the disk. The streams near the center show how matter from the disk is still falling onto the star. These illustrations are not to scale - the stars are actually miniscule in size when compared with their surrounding disks.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

TW Hya Association (June 13, 2016)