Protoplanetary disc

Protoplanetary disc

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Credit: EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Restrictions: This image may not be used by or to promote the arms, nuclear power or tobacco industries or any religious organisation, or in any discriminatory way, or to imply the endorsement by ESO of any product, service or activity

Caption: Protoplanetary disc. Artwork of a protoplanetary disc (glowing red) surrounding a young star (yellow). This is an extended, flared disc, which is thought to be a precursor to the flatter and thinner disc that is present during the later stages of planet formation. This artwork is based on observations of the 2.5 solar mass star HD 97048, made by the VISIR infrared instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The results were published in 2006, HD 97048 is 600 light years from Earth, in the constellation Chameleon. The disk is larger and more massive than our solar system, but as the star is short-lived it is unlikely that advanced life will form here.

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Keywords: alien planetary system, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, chameleon, early, extended, flared, formation, forming, hd 97048, illustration, infrared, planetary, planetary science, protoplanetary disc, science, space, star, stellar evolution, stellar system, very large telescope, visir, vlt

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