Disks around young stellar objects
By 1939, when Chandrasekhar’s classic monograph on the theory of Stellar Structure was published, although the need for recent star formation was fully acknowledged, no one had yet recognized an object that could be called a star in the process of being born. Young stellar objects (YSOs), as pre-main-sequence stars, were discovered in the 1940s and 1950s. Infrared excess emission and intrinsic polarization observed in these objects in the 1960s and 1970s indicated that they are surrounded by ﬂattened disks. The YSO disks were seen in direct imaging only in the 1980s. Since then, high-resolution optical imaging with HST, near-infrared adaptive optics on large groundbased telescopes, mm and radiowave interferometry have been used to image disks around a large number of YSOs revealing disk structure with ever-increasing detail and variety. The disks around YSOs are believed to be the sites of planet formation and a few such associations have now been conﬁrmed. The observed properties of the disk structure and their evolution, that have very important consequences for the theory of star and planet formation, are discussed.
Volume 95, 2021
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