[Artist Concept] Interstellar forecast for a nearby star: Raining comets! The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered comets plunging into a youthful, 23 million year old star that resides 95 light-years from Earth. This illustration shows several comets speeding across a vast protoplanetary disk of gas and dust and heading straight for the youthful, central star. These "kamikaze" comets will eventually plunge into the star and vaporize. The comets are too small to photograph, but their gaseous spectral "fingerprints" on the star's light were detected by Hubble. The gravitational influence of a suspected Jupiter-sized planet in the foreground may have catapulted the comets into the star. This star, called HD 172555, represents the third extrasolar system where astronomers have detected doomed, wayward comets.
Credits: NASA, ESA, A. Feild and G. Bacon (STScI)
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