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February 7, 2011

Artist's rendering of star HD 131488's inner planetary system

An artist's rendering of what the star HD 131488's inner planetary system might look like as two large, rocky bodies collide.

More about this image
Astronomers using the Gemini South Telescope in Chile found dusty evidence of the formation of young, rocky planets around HD 131488, some 500 light years distant. In studying the aftermath of collisions between planetary embryos around this star, the researchers discovered that the dusty debris bear no resemblance to the planetary building blocks of our own solar system. To learn more about this discovery, see the Gemini news story "Astronomers say alien dust is nothing to sneeze at." (Date of Image: 2009)

Credit: Lynette Cook for Gemini Observatory/AURA

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