The disk atmosphere in the HH 212 protostar system. (A) - Composite image for the HH 212 jet in different molecules. Orange marked with a dust envelope and a disc imprinted on ALMA. (b) - Increase central dust disc. The snowflake marked the position of the protostar. The size scale of our system was placed at the bottom right for comparison. (c) - Atmosphere of the accretion disk. Green - deuterated methanol, blue - methanethiol, red - formamide
The researchers, led by Chin-Fei Li from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the Academy of Sciences of Sinica, used ALMA to find complex organic molecules in the atmosphere of an accretion disk around a child protostar. These are important elements, as they play an essential role in the formation of organic chemistry, which life needs.
Scientists believe that the building blocks of life are formed on such disks at the very beginning of the creation of a star and they can move to the emerging planets, where life can arise. Perhaps this will help to understand how life appeared on our planet.
When such elements were found on the accretion disk for the first time, the researchers wondered: could they have appeared earlier? And ALMA revealed them on a very young copy. HH 212 is the closest protostar in the Orion system, distant by 1,300 light years. Age - 40,000 years, and by weight reaches only 0.2 solar. Disk radius - 60 a. e. (60 times the Earth-Sun distance). Because of the equatorial dark band like a hamburger.
3 D-image marking the atmosphere of complex organic molecules on the accretion disk (blue). Pink layers - the atmosphere of the disk. For molecular models: white is hydrogen (H), blue is deuterium (D), black is carbon (C), red is oxygen (O), violet is nitrogen (N), and yellow is sulfur (S)
Observations revealed the atmosphere of complex organic molecules that act as precursors of biomolecules (amino acids and sugar). Most likely, they are formed in ice grains and are released when heated or bumped.
Observations help to detect more complex organic molecules that are able to discover new information about the origin of life.
Artistic interpretation of the atmosphere of complex organic molecules on an accretion disk