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Protoplanetary Disks in the Orion Nebula

Protoplanetary Disks in the Orion Nebula

Depicts: Orion Proplyds
Copyright: NASA, J. Bally (University of Colorado, Boulder, CO), H. Throop (Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO), C.R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN)

Planet formation is a hazardous process. These four snapshots, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, show dust disks around embryonic stars in the Orion Nebula being "blowtorched" by a blistering flood of ultraviolet radiation from the region's brightest star. Within these disks are the seeds of planets. The doomed systems look like hapless comets, with wayward tails of gas boiling off the withering, pancake-shaped disks.
Last Update: 1 September 2019
27-May-2024 18:48 UT

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