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Birth of a solar system

Planets form from the dusty disks surrounding newborn stars.
The Orion Nebula (M42) glows brightly on winter nights. A tight knot of four massive stars known as the Trapezium lurks near the nebula’s center, recent products of this vast star-making factory. High-energy radiation from just one of the Trapezium’s stars, Theta11) A Orionis, provides most of the energy that makes the whole nebula glow.

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