Astronomy Picture of the Day
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September 11, 1995
Proplyds: Infant Solar Systems
HST, WFPC 2, C.R. O'Dell
The fuzzy blobs seen above may be some of the first ever images
of entire solar systems forming right before our eyes.
This close up of the
Orion Nebulae taken by the
Hubble Space Telescope shows only a few
stars, but these stars are surrounded by proto-planetary disks known as
As the stars have only just recently formed - in the past few
million years - the disks around them are likely condensing to form
planetary systems and may be similar to the disk that formed our own solar
system 5 billion years ago. These HST results suggest that stars with
planets may be relatively common place.
Are there extra-terrestrial
civilizations out there as well?
Tomorrow's picture: Spiral Galaxy M83
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