The Onset of Planet Formation in Brown Dwarf Disks

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Science  04 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5749, pp. 834-836
DOI: 10.1126/science.1118042

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The onset of planet formation in protoplanetary disks is marked by the growth and crystallization of sub–micrometer-sized dust grains accompanied by dust settling toward the disk mid-plane. Here, we present infrared spectra of disks around brown dwarfs and brown dwarf candidates. We show that all three processes occur in such cool disks in a way similar or identical to that in disks around low- and intermediate-mass stars. These results indicate that the onset of planet formation extends to disks around brown dwarfs, suggesting that planet formation is a robust process occurring in most young circumstellar disks.

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