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Disc Around Aged Star Model
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Disc Around Aged Star (Model)

October 8, 2007
Astronomers have used ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer and its razor sharp eyes to discover a reservoir of dust trapped into a disc that surrounds an elderly star. Here, model images of the disc of dust around the aged star, V390 Velorum, as inferred from observations taken with ESO's powerful interferometric instruments, Astronomical Multi-BEam combineR (AMBER) and MID-infrared Interferometric instrument (MIDI), at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer, are shown at two different wavelengths (2 microns, left panel; 10 microns, right panel). The observations reveal a disc with a much puffed-up inner rim, extending from 9 Astronomical Units to several hundreds of AU. The giant star, whose position is indicated by the cross in the images, is 5000 times as bright as our Sun and is located 2,600 light-years away from Earth. The brightest region is the inner wall on the far side.