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An image to relish

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11:11am, August 28, 2002

Hey, McDonalds, you're too late! There already are hamburgers in space. NASA announced Aug. 1 that the Hubble Space Telescope has recorded a high-resolution image of an object that looks just like a giant burger. In this case, however, the bun is two regions where light has scattered off dust from a dying star, and the patty is a dark band of dust sandwiched between them.

The sunlike star itself lies hidden behind a thick disk of gas and dust. Although the star's light can't travel through the disk, it does emerge perpendicular to it, reflecting off grains of dust above and below the star. The meaty dark band represents the dusty disk's shadow.

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