Image of a star in the constellation Taurus surrounded by a ring of dust.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of STScI
Hubble Images Possible Planet-Forming Systems
News story originally written on February 12, 1999
Scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope's Near-Infrared Camera and
Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) have taken images of possible
planet-forming regions. The images show disks of dust circling different
stars in the constellation Taurus.
"While the existence of these disks has been known from prior infrared
and radio observations, the Hubble images reveal important new details
such as a disk's size, shape, thickness, and orientation," said Deborah
Padgett of Caltech's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center.
The dust-cloud disks can only be seen edge-on because the stars' light
overpowers the reflected light from the disks. Scientists are interested
in looking at planet-forming regions because they hope to understand how
our Solar System formed
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