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News Release Archive:

News Release 634 of 939

February 9, 1999 01:00 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-1999-05

Vast Stellar Disks Set Stage for Planet Birth in New Hubble Images

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Image: I04302

I04302

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

This image shows IRAS 04302+2247, a star hidden from direct view and seen only by the nebula it illuminates. Dividing the nebula in two is a dense, edge-on disk of dust and gas which appears as the thick, dark band crossing the center of the image. The disk has a diameter of 80 billion miles (15 times the diameter of Neptune's orbit), and has a mass comparable to the Solar Nebula, which gave birth to our planetary system. Dark clouds and bright wisps above and below the disk suggest that it is still building up from infalling dust and gas.

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: D. Padgett (IPAC/Caltech), W. Brandner (IPAC), K. Stapelfeldt (JPL) and NASA

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

The above image is part of a montage:

Montage Image: Young Stars and Stellar Disks Image Type: Astronomical/Annotated Young Stars and Stellar DisksPRC1999-05a CoKu Tau/1 Image Type: Astronomical CoKu Tau/1 DG Tau B Image Type: Astronomical DG Tau B Haro 6-5B Image Type: Astronomical Haro 6-5B I04016 Image Type: Astronomical I04016 I04248 Image Type: Astronomical I04248

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