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Dust in the Wind
Image by NASA/STSCI/George Herbig and Theodore Simon, University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy/Hubble Heritage Team

A cloud of dust moving peacefully through space meets its match in a bright star—Merope—in the Pleiades star cluster. As the star (at upper right, just out of view) moves toward the cloud, powerful radiation from the star hits the cloud and slows the dust particles. Smaller particles are slowed more than larger ones, creating formations that look like spikes pointing at Merope. Scientists liken the effect of stellar wind on dust structures to wind and water erosion of rock.





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