Cosmic butterfly or interstellar citizen? This planet-forming disk is the largest ever seen

a gathering of pink and blue gasses in the center takes the shape of a butterfly with its wings spread, all against the black of space with a few blurry stars smattered about.

The largest planetary construction site ever seen, spanning hundreds of billions of kilometers, may well be cast in a huge shadow that accentuates its bizarre appearance. In short, it looks like a cosmic butterfly – and for years it was ignored.

The object, known as IRAS 23077+6707, was originally cataloged by the Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) in the 1980s as a source of infrared emission. Then in 2016, while conducting an investigation into active galaxies in the region of the constellation Cepheus, astronomer Ciprian Berghea of ​​the US Naval Observatory coincidentally rediscovered it with the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS).

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