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Planetary nursery around young star, ALMA image

Planetary nursery around young star, ALMA image

C039/0141

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Credit

ESO / R. DONG ET AL.; ALMA (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO) / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ESO / R. DONG ET AL.; ALMA (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO) / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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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

Planetary nursery around young star, ALMA image. At centre is the young star MWC 758, which is approaching adulthood. It is surrounded by knotty, irregular rings of cosmic dust, three of which can be seen here. Unusually, these rings are elliptical rather than being perfectly circular. The outer and inner rings each contain one particularly bright clump, visible as arcs of yellow. Additionally there appear to be spiral arms traced out within the dust, as well as a core dust-free cavity that is slightly off-centre. These are all features that hint at the presence of unseen planets. As planets form, they gravitationally interact with the disc and create various tell-tale features and structures. Studying young systems as the form and evolve may help us to understand more about how our Solar System formed. Image obtained by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

Release details

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