Dawn of a Disk: Water vapor pours down on embryonic star

12:29pm, August 29, 2007

Even as it forms within a cloud of gas and dust, a nascent star develops a doughnut-shaped disk around it. This is the "protoplanetary disk" that might spawn planets. Using an infrared telescope to peer inside a dusty stellar womb 1,000 light-years from Earth, astronomers say that they have found evidence of such a disk in one of its earliest stages of development.

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