Credit: NSF/AUI/NRAO/B. Saxton/Stephens et al.
Prof. Leslie Looney is part of the team that created this beautiful image of the circumstellar disk of HL Tauri in dust polarization using ALMA at a resolution of ~5 au-- coming out soon in Nature. They find more dust polarization in the gaps than the rings, suggesting that a dust alignment mechanism in the gaps is aerodynamically aligning the effectively prolate (kind of like an American football) dust grains. The team was led by Illinois Astronomy PhD alum Ian Stephens.