This simulation shows a shadow sweeping around a gas-and-dust disk encircling the young star TW Hydrae. The simulated view is based on an analysis of data taken between 1998 and 2016 by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. This video also shows what the moving shadow might look like in the future as it continues its journey around the disk. The shadow completes a revolution every 16 years. Astronomers think that an unseen planet in the disk is gravitationally pulling on material near the star and warping the inner part of the disk. The twisted, misaligned inner disk is casting its shadow across the surface of the outer disk. TW Hydrae resides 192 light-years away and is roughly 8 million years old.
Publication: January 7, 2017