This is one of my favorite Hubble pictures (from the mid-90s, I believe), showing a proplyd, short for proto-planetary disk, that’s about 17 times the size of our solar system. What inspires me about this image is that you get just a hint of activity inside the occulting disk, and you can imagine newborn planets being bombarded while the inner disk is boiled away by the new star.
I think this is the proper attribution which Brian Koberlein omitted:
Credit: Mark McCaughrean (Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy), C. Robert O’Dell (Rice University), and NASA
I got additional info from: http://messier.seds.org/more/m042_hst2.html
The SEDS group was one of the first astronomy outreach groups on the web, and was very influential to me in my grad student days.
Originally shared by Brian Koberlein
We can actually observe solar systems forming in the Orion nebula.
My older blog posts didn’t label images like they do now. I’ve added credits to the image. Thanks for the info.
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