Astronomers have obtained the first clear look at a dusty disk closely encircling a massive baby star; this artist's concept shows what such a massive disk might look like.
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Disk Around a Massive Baby Star (Artist's Concept)

Astronomers have obtained the first clear look at a dusty disk closely encircling a massive baby star, providing direct evidence that massive stars do form in the same way as their smaller brethren -- and closing an enduring debate. This artist's concept shows what such a massive disk might look like.

The flared disk extends to about 130 times the Earth-sun distance, and has a mass similar to that of the star, roughly twenty times the sun. The inner parts of the disk are shown to be devoid of dust.

Image details

ID#:
PIA13275

Date added:
2010-07-14

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9,493

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA13275.tif (31.99 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA13275.jpg (0.69 MB)

Image credit:
ESO/L. Calçada