Pleiades-like nebulosities masquerading as debris disks (2002)

In this press release we announced the discovery of five new nebulosities (two are shown above) that were detected with a coronagraph at optical wavelengths. Because the stars are very bright, the faint wispy dust structure surrounding them was hidden until our observations were made. We were expecting to image circumstellar disks, yet found dusty nebulosities that look like the Pleiades reflection nebulosities. These discoveries were surprising because they indicated that even though many stars have dust around them, in many cases the dust is not in a flattened disk that is related to planet formation.

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