Hubble GO/12228 Program Debris Disk Sample
This is a set of images from a NASA Hubble Space Telescope survey of the architecture of debris systems around young stars. The Hubble Space Telescope's sharp view uncovers an unexpected diversity and complexity in the structures. As the accompanying scale shows, the disk-like structures are vast, many times larger than the planetary distribution in our solar system. Some disks are tilted edge-on to our view, others nearly face-on. Asymmetries and warping in the disks might be caused by the host star's passage though interstellar space. Alternatively, the disks may be affected by the action of unseen planets. The stars surveyed may be as young as 10 million years old and as mature as more than 1 billion years old. The visible-light survey was done with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). The STIS coronagraph blocks out the light from the host star so that the very faint reflected light from the dust structures can be seen. Some of the images have been artificially colored to enhance detail.