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Celestial Album
binary HD 113766
07/05/10

 

This artist's conception shows binary-star system HD 113766, where astronomers suspect a rocky Earth-like planet is forming around one of the stars. At approximately 10-16 million years old, astronomers suspect this star is at just the right age for forming rocky planets. The brown ring of material circling closest to the central star depicts a huge belt of dusty material. The rocky material in the belt represents the early stages of planet formation, when dust grains clump together to form rocks, and rocks collide to form even more massive rocky bodies called planetesimals. The white outer ring shows a concentration of icy dust also detected in the system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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