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Hubble photos capture the formation of planetary systems

Illustration for article titled Hubble photos capture the formation of planetary systems

Researchers have used new image processing techniques to reveal two images of planetary systems forming around their home stars. The images are, according to NASA, "two treasures that were hiding in the Hubble archives." They are spectacular.

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Illustration for article titled Hubble photos capture the formation of planetary systems

Discovered by a team led by Rémi Soummer—from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland—the stars were initially captured by the Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer in 1999 and 2006. The space agency says that "when Hubble first viewed the stars no disks were detected." Soummer and his team used "improvements in image processing, including algorithms used for face-recognition software" to analyze the images again, obtaining these pictures of the disk, which you can see reinterpreted by an artist at the bottom.

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This bring the total of these images to 23. Here's a selection of the other ones.

Illustration for article titled Hubble photos capture the formation of planetary systems
Illustration for article titled Hubble photos capture the formation of planetary systems
Illustration for article titled Hubble photos capture the formation of planetary systems
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Illustration for article titled Hubble photos capture the formation of planetary systems
Illustration for article titled Hubble photos capture the formation of planetary systems
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Illustration for article titled Hubble photos capture the formation of planetary systems
Illustration for article titled Hubble photos capture the formation of planetary systems
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It's incredible that we can witness this. This is what our own solar system looked like 4.5 billions of years ago.


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DISCUSSION

The_Terminator
The Terminator

Given how the HST is able to still give us so many great insights into our universe (in this case it may be old data), I feel as though its usefulness is far from over. Isn't there some way we can keep it in service?