NOAO < IMAGE GALLERY < Stellar cocoons

Proplyds within the Carina Nebula (NGC3372)

[Stellar cocoons]

About this image

Astronomers have discovered dozens of potential stellar cocoons within the hostile environment of the Carina Nebula, including some oddballs with bulbous heads, irregular shapes and long, thin tails. Each of these objects may harbor disks of gas and dust that could one day form planetary systems. This is the first large population of these so-called "proplyd" objects to be found outside of the Orion Nebula, the closest region to Earth known to be forming massive stars. The newly discovered proplyds located within the Carina Nebula (NGC3372) are five times farther from Earth than Orion, in a separate spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy.

For further details, see NOAO press release 03-01.

More: stars page, nebulae page.

Minimum credit line: Nathan Smith, John Bally, Jacob Thiel, Jon Morse U.Colorado/CTIO/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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870 x 653 59 kb color JPEG
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