Protoplanetary Disk in M42
HUBBLE VIEW OF A PROTOPLANETARY DISK
A Hubble Space Telescope view of a very young star (between
300,000 and a million years of age) surrounded by material left
over from the star's formation. The cool, reddish star is about
one fifth the mass of our Sun. The dark disk, seen in silhouette
against the background of the Orion Nebula, is possibly a
protoplanetary disk from which planets will form. The disk
contains at least seven times the material as our Earth. The
disk is 56 billion miles across (90 billion kilometers), or 7.5
times the diameter of our Solar System.
The Orion Nebula starbirth region is 1,500 light-years away, in
the direction of the constellation Orion the Hunter.
The image was taken on 29 December 1993 with the HST's Wide Field
and Planetary Camera 2, WFPC2, in PC mode.
credit: C.R. O'Dell/Rice University
|Students for the Exploration and Development of Space|
Created by R. Mark Elowitz
Maintained byGuy K.