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IRS 46

This very young star is surrounded by a dust disk in which probably planets are about to form. In this disk organic molecules have been discovered which on the young Earth belonged to the precursors to DNA and protein, when through chemical evolution life started. Those molecules are acetylene (C2H2), hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Constellation: Ophiuchus
Distance: 375 light-years
Luminosity: 0.6 * Sun
Mass: circa 0.5 * Sun

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    IRS 46
Graphic: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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