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Birth of a star: Astronomers spot new solar system 450 light years away

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Image from a quicklink A vast protostar, spewing a torrent of matter formed from huge dust clouds, could give astronomers the best insight to-date into how our solar system was created. The star-in-waiting, just 300,000 years old and found 450 light years away in the Taurus constellation, is early in its lifecycle: L1527 (aka Roberta J. L1527) has consumed roughly a fifth of the surrounding envelope -- the cloud of predominantly hydrogen and heavier molecular dust around it -- on its way to reaching the critical temperature at which nuclear fusion begins. A spinning disc forms around the core -- thanks to gas clouds entering at angles within the envelope -- with some accreting onto it, and the rest being blasted out in jets along the axis. 'In many ways, this system looks much like we think our own Solar System looked when it was very young.'

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