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A young star’s moment in the spotlight

10 February 2016 Astronomy Now

A newly formed star lights up the surrounding cosmic clouds in this new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. Dust particles in the vast clouds that surround the young T-tauri star HD 97300 diffuse its light, like a car headlight in enveloping fog, and create the reflection nebula IC 2631.

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Smoke ring for a halo

2 November 2015 Astronomy Now

Two stars shine through the centre of a ring of cascading dust in this image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The star system is named DI Chamaeleontis, or DI Cha, in the far southern constellation of the Chameleon. While only two stars are apparent, it is actually a quadruple system containing two sets of binary stars.