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NGC 1333-IRAS 4B

IRAS 4b is a very young, still growing protostar, which lies in the reflection nebula NGC 1333. Around it is a planet-forming dust disk. Raining down on this, coming from the outer regions, is water. This comes as chunks of ice, which evaporate when approaching the star. Much of this water gets caught in the dust disk and with it on future planets. Similar to this our solar system could have looked while forming.

Constellation: Perseus
Distance: 1000 light-years

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09/05/2007

    NGC 1333-IRAS 4B
IRAS 4B is the bright spot in the middle.
Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. A. Gutermuth (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

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