About the Object

Category: Graphics

Protoplanetary disc of SO-ChaI 147 (MIRI emission spectrum)

This graphic presents some of the results from the MIRI Mid-INfrared Disk Survey (MINDS), which aims to build a bridge between the chemical inventory of discs and the properties of exoplanets. In a new study, the science team explored the region around a very low-mass star of 0.11 solar masses (known as ISO-ChaI 147). These observations provide insights into the environment as well as basic ingredients for such planets to form. The team found that the gas in the planet-forming region of the star is rich in carbon. This could potentially be because carbon is removed from the solid material from which rocky planets can form, and could explain why Earth is relatively carbon-poor.

The spectrum revealed by Webb’s Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) shows the richest hydrocarbon chemistry seen to date in a protoplanetary disc, consisting of 13 carbon-bearing molecules up to benzene. This includes the first extrasolar detection of ethane (C2H6), the largest fully-saturated hydrocarbon detected outside our Solar System. Since fully-saturated hydrocarbons are expected to form from more basic molecules, detecting them here gives researchers clues about the chemical environment. The team also successfully detected ethylene (C2H4), propyne (C3H4), and the methyl radical CH3, for the first time in a protoplanetary disc.

This graphic highlights the detections of ethane (C2H6), methane (CH4), propyne (C3H4), cyanoacetylene (HC3N), and the methyl radical CH3.


NASA, ESA, CSA, R. Crawford (STScI)

About the Image

Id: weic2416b
Type: Chart
Release date: 6 June 2024, 20:00
Related releases: weic2416
Size: 3840 x 2455 px

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