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Discovery of a large dust disk around the nearby star AU Microscopii.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Science
Publisher
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Publication Date
Mar 26, 2004
Volume
303
Issue
5666
Pages
1990–1992
Identifiers
PMID: 14988511
Source
SETI Institute
License
Unknown

Abstract

We present the discovery of a circumstellar dust disk surrounding AU Microscopii (AU Mic, GJ 803, HD 197481). This young M star at 10 parsec has the same age and origin as beta Pictoris, another nearby star surrounded by a dust disk. The AU Mic disk is detected between 50 astronomical units (AU) and 210 AU radius, a region where dust lifetimes exceed the present stellar age. Thus, AU Mic is the nearest star where we directly observe the solid material required for planet formation. Because 85% of stars are M-type, the AU Mic disk provides new clues on how the majority of planetary systems might form and evolve.

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