Saturday, October 23, 2021

Hubble Peers into a Dusty Stellar Nursery

Nestled among the vast clouds of star-forming regions like this one lie potential clues about the formation of our own solar system. The image below is from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope features AFGL 5180, a beautiful stellar nursery located in the constellation of Gemini (the Twins). 

AFGL 5180, a beautiful stellar nursery located in the constellation of Gemini (the Twins).
AFGL 5180, a beautiful stellar nursery located in the constellation of Gemini (the Twins). (Image: ESA / Hubble & NASA, J. C. Tan (Chalmers University & University of Virginia))

At the center of the image, a massive star is forming and blasting cavities through the clouds with a pair of powerful jets, extending to the top right and bottom left of the image. Light from this star is mostly escaping and reaching us by illuminating these cavities, like a lighthouse piercing through the storm clouds.

Hubbell looks into the stellar nursery

Stars are born in dusty environments and although this dust makes for spectacular images, it can prevent astronomers from seeing stars embedded in it. Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument is designed to capture detailed images in both visible and infrared light, meaning that the young stars hidden in vast star-forming regions like AFGL 5180 can be seen much more clearly. 

Provided by: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center [Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.]

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Troy Oakes
Troy was born and raised in Australia and has always wanted to know why and how things work, which led him to his love for science. He is a professional photographer and enjoys taking pictures of Australia's beautiful landscapes. He is also a professional storm chaser where he currently lives in Hervey Bay, Australia.
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