November 2016: Picture of the Month

November 2016: Picture of the Month

December 30, 2016
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triplet_system

Imaged at the millimeter wavelengths with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile, a triple star system is forming within the dusty disk some 750 light years away in the Perseus molecular cloud. The system consists of two protostars separated by a distance of 61 astronomical units and a third protostar at a distance of 183 astronomical units from the central protostar. The star system also has a spiral structure, indicating instability and fragmentation which can lead to multiple protostellar objects within the disk. This star-forming scenario is likely common, as almost half of all sun-like stars have at least one companion star.

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