The Spitzer Space Telescope website will be down on Tuesday July 29th from 9am PDT to 10am PDT for server maintenance. Thank you for your patience.

Download Video

Video Information

Subscribe to Series

06.04.09

Silicate Crystal Formation in the Disk of an Erupting Star

This artist's animation illustrates how silicate crystals like those found in comets can be created by an outburst from a growing star. It first shows a young sun-like star encircled by its planet-forming disk of gas and dust. The silicate that makes up most of the dust would have begun as non-crystallized, amorphous particles.

Then, material from the disk spirals onto the star increasing its mass and causing the star to brighten and heat up dramatically. The outburst causes temperatures to rise in the star's surrounding disk.

Next, the animation zooms into the disk to show close-ups of silicate particles. When the disk warms from the star's outburst, the amorphous particles of silicate melt. As they cool off, they transform into forsterite, a type of silicate crystal often found in comets in our solar system.

In April 2008, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope detected evidence of this process taking place on the disk of a young sun-like star called EX Lupi.

Browse Videos in Science Animations

2040100 per page

Details or Icons

Page-nav-left Page 2 of 4 Page-nav-right

Go to page

ssc2007-08v1

04.18.07

Infrared Rose

ssc2006-22v1

12.18.06

Stars Spring Up Out of the Darkness

ssc2006-21v2

11.07.06

Hubble-Spitzer Orion

ssc2006-20v1

10.30.06

Who Ya Gonna Call?

ssc2006-18v1

10.12.06

Fire and Ice Planet

ssc2006-16v1

08.14.06

Journey to Orion

ssc2006-15v1

07.24.06

Stars Can't Spin Out of Control

ssc2006-14v1

06.05.06

Fade to Red

ssc2006-10v1

04.05.06

Birth of 'Phoenix' Planets?

ssc2006-09v1

03.16.06

Cigar Galaxy up in Smoke

ssc2005-14v1

06.09.05

The Cry of Cassiopeia A

ssc2005-13v1

06.02.05

Space Eyes See Comet Tempel 1

ssc2005-12v2

05.30.05

Carina in Context

ssc2005-12v1

05.30.05

Pillars Behind the Dust

ssc2005-11v1

05.04.05

A More Spectacular Sombrero