NICMOS Peers Through Dust to Reveal Young Stellar Disks. A View of IRAS 04302+2247

This image shows IRAS 04302+2247, a star hidden from direct view and seen only by the nebula it illuminates. Dividing the nebula in two is a dense, edge-on disk of dust and gas which appears as the thick, dark band crossing the center of the image. The disk has a diameter of 80 billion miles (15 times the diameter of Neptune's orbit), and has a mass comparable to the Solar Nebula, which gave birth to our planetary system. Dark clouds and bright wisps above and below the disk suggest that it is still building up from infalling dust and gas.


D. Padgett (IPAC/Caltech), W. Brandner (IPAC), K. Stapelfeldt (JPL) and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
Release date:9 February 1999, 19:00
Size:255 x 255 px

About the Object

Name:Butterfly Star, IRAS 04302+2247
Type:Milky Way : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Young Stellar Object
Distance:450 light years

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21.7 KB
r.titleScreensize JPEG
61.4 KB

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Hubble Space Telescope

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