NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection
Pleiades and Stardust
Hurtling through a cosmic dust cloud a mere 400 light-years away, the lovely Pleiades [ http://www.naic.edu ] or Seven Sisters star cluster is well-known for its striking blue reflection nebulae [ http://antwrp.gsfc. ]. This remarkable wide-field (3 degree) image of the region [ http://www.astropho ] shows the famous star cluster at the right, while highlighting lesser known dusty reflection nebulae nearby, across an area that would span over 20 light-years. In this case, the sister stars [ http://antwrp.gsfc. ] and cosmic dust clouds [ http://antwrp.gsfc. ] are not related, they just happen to be passing through the same region of space. But astronomers using infrared detectors have recently found [ http://www.gemini.e ] a dusty disk that really does belong to one young Pleiades star -- HD 23514. Surrounding HD 23514, the disk is estimated to be comparable in size to the terrestrial planet zone in our own solar system [ http://www.jpl.nasa ] and likely represents the debris from the process [ http://antwrp.gsfc. ] of rocky planet formation.
Credit and Copyright:
//antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply">Copyright: Tony Hallas [ http://astrophoto.c ]
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
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