Overview of the Hyades star cluster (ground-based image)

This image shows the Hyades star cluster, the nearest cluster to us. The Hyades cluster is very well studied due to its location, but previous searches for planets have produced only one. A new study led by Jay Farihi of the University of Cambridge, UK, has now found the atmospheres of two burnt-out stars in this cluster — known as white dwarfs — to be “polluted” by rocky debris circling the star.

Seeing evidence of asteroids points to the possibility of Earth-sized planets in the same system, as asteroids are the building blocks of major planets. Planet-forming processes are inefficient, and spawn many times more small bodies than large bodies — but once rocky embryos the size of asteroids are built, planets are sure to follow.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, and STScI.

About the Image

Id:heic1309c
Type:Observation
Release date:9 May 2013, 16:00
Related releases:heic1309
Size:6334 x 4937 px

About the Object

Name:Hyades, WD0421+162, WD0431+126
Type:• Milky Way : Star : Evolutionary Stage : White Dwarf
• Milky Way : Star : Grouping : Cluster : Open
• Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Disk : Debris
• X - Stars Images/Videos
• X - Star Clusters Images/Videos
Distance:150 light years

Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Optical
R
DSS
Optical
B
DSS

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