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By Lee Hartmann

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NICMOS/HST coronographic imaging of scattered light from debris disks around HD 141569 (left) and HR 4796 (right) (from Schneider et al. 1999; Weinberger et al. 1999). 8 Disks and planet formation 17 –6 AB Aur log λ Fλ –8 –10 HR 4796A –12 0 1 log λ (mm) 2 3 Fig. 11. Comparison of the SEDs (normalized to the stellar photospheres) of AB Aur, a Herbig Ae/Be star (intermediate-mass equivalent of a T Tauri star), with HR 4796, a debrisdisk system – that is, a system whose dust is thought to be the product of collisions between large bodies rather than being “primordial” dust.

Note that the internal energies are larger than the gravitational energy, indicating that the whole computational domain is supported against collapse. Right panel: Magnetic vs. 8 Myr). Note that while the energies are comparable, and correlated, the gravitational energy is somewhat larger for more massive clouds, implying that they are magnetically supercritical (see text). From Hartmann et al. (2001). to facilitate comparison. The magnetic and (internal) energies remain nearly constant for the first 50 Myr of the simulation, decaying slightly thereafter.

2002) as to make it difficult for planets to form. Over longer timescales, energetic radiation, particularly EUV 18 Overview radiation from stellar chromospheres, may be responsible for at least some of the elimination of disk gas in low-mass stars. The other alternative is accretion, either into the central star or into massive planets. 12). Cold, dark molecular gas fragments by some unknown process into self-gravitating cloudlets of a few solar masses. These cloudlets or cores evolve into a critical configuration where they cannot support themselves against gravity, and nearly collapse at free-fall.

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