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Celestial Album
An artist's concept of the snow line in TW Hydrae
07/21/13

 

An artist's concept of the snow line in TW Hydrae showing water ice covered dust grains in the inner disc (4.5–30 astronomical units, blue) and carbon monoxide ice covered grains in the outer disc (>30 astronomical units, green). The transition from blue to green marks the carbon monoxide snow line. The snow helps grains of dust to adhere to each other by providing a sticky coating, which is essential to the formation of planets and comets. Due to the different freezing points of different chemical compounds, different snow lines can be found at various distances from the star. Credit: B. Saxton & A. Angelich/NRAO/AUI/NSF/ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)



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