Recent exoplanet studies have revealed that the orbital planes of planets are not always aligned with one another or with the equatorial plane of the central star. The misalignment has been ascribed to gravitational scattering by giant planets and/or companion stars1,2,3 or to fly-bys in stellar cluster environments4. Alternatively, the misalignment could be natal: that is, such planets were born in a warped protostellar disk5,6. Warped disk structures have been reported in some transition disks and protoplanetary disks7,8, but not in the earlier stages of protostar evolution, although such a possibility is suggested by outflow morphology9,10. Here we report millimetre-wavelength dust continuum observations of the young embedded protostar IRAS 04368+2557 in the protostellar core L1527 at a distance11 of 137 parsecs; the protostar’s disk is almost edge-on12,13,14,15,16. The inner and outer parts of the disk have slightly different orbital planes, connected at 40 to 60 astronomical units from the star, but the disk has point symmetry with respect to the position of the protostar. We interpret it as a warped disk that is rotationally supported. Because there is no evidence for a companion source17,18, the warped structure must be due to either anisotropic accretion of gas with different rotational axes, or misalignment of the rotation axis of the disk with the magnetic field direction.
Access optionsAccess options
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
This work used the following ALMA data whose codes are ADS/JAO.ALMA #2013.0.00858.S and ADS/JAO.ALMA #2013.1.01086.S for the 0.9-mm and 1.3-mm observations, respectively. The data are available at https://almascience.nao.ac.jp/aq by setting the observation codes. The data sets generated or analysed during this study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
We thank Y. Suto, C. Chandler, Y. Aikawa, C. Ceccarelli and B. Lefloch for valuable discussions. This Letter makes use of ALMA data. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI grants 25108005, 16H03964 and 18H05222.
Nature thanks C. Codella and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.