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December 16, 1992 12:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-1992-29

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Discovers Protoplanetary Disks Around Newly Formed Stars

December 16, 1992: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the strongest evidence yet that many stars form planetary systems. Dr. C. Robert O'Dell of Rice University, Houston, Texas and colleagues have used Hubble to discover extended disks of dust around 15 newly formed stars in the Orion Nebula, a starbirth region 1,500 light-years away. Such disks are a prerequisite for the formation of solar Systems like our own. "These images provide the best evidence for planetary systems," said O'Dell.

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Credit: C.R. O'Dell (Rice University), and NASA