Edge-On Protoplanetary Disc in the Orion Nebula

Resembling an interstellar Frisbee, this is a disk of dust seen edge-on around a newborn star in the Orion nebula, located 1, 500 light-years away. Because the disk is edge-on, the star is largely hidden inside, in this striking Hubble Space Telescope picture. The disk may be an embryonic planetary system in the making. Our solar system probably formed out of just such a disk 4.5 billion years ago. At 17 times the diameter of our own solar system, this disk is the largest of several recently discovered in the Orion nebula.

The left image is a three-color composite, taken in blue, green, and red emission lines from glowing gas in the nebula.

Credit:

Mark McCaughrean (Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy), C. Robert O'Dell (Rice University), and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo9545i
Type:Observation
Release date:20 November 1995, 06:00
Size:161 x 161 px

About the Object

Name:Messier 42, NGC 1976, Orion Proplyd
Type:• Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Disk : Protoplanetary
• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Star Formation
• X - Stars Images/Videos
Distance:1400 light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
OIII
502 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
H-alpha
656 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
NII
658 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

Image Formats

Large JPEG
10.7 KB
Screensize JPEG
50.3 KB

Also see our