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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 10:52 EDT

The Formation of a Proplyd

December 15, 2009

In this animation, the process of proplyds forming within a nebula is illustrated. The bright proplyds, visible as shiny cusps, are illuminated by the star Theta 1 Orionis C, which sets the disc material ablaze. This is, however, both a blessing and a curse. The powerful radiation that lights them up also threatens their very existence, as the disc material, once heated up, is very likely to dissipate and dissolve before planets can form. Credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser)