Shedding light on the mystery of matter accretion in young stars
An international team of researchers from multiple institutions, including INRS, is shedding light on the mystery of matter accretion in young stars. Published in the November 1, 2017 Science Advances online journal, their discovery helps explain how matter accumulates on the surface of a young star and reconciles the theory behind and observations on the accretion process—a matter of debate among astrophysicists because of the limited number of theoretical models and actual observations. An experiment replicating the accretion phenomenon on a star was conducted in a laboratory. Researchers took a close look at what happens when a laser-produced column of plasma impacts a solid obstacle in the presence of an intense magnetic field. X-ray emissions measurements verified the presence of an envelope of plasma around the core of the accretion zone of the matter on the star’s surface. Discovery of the envelope allows researchers to accurately calculate the matter accretion rate.