Violent birth announcement from an infant star

Jun 06, 2014
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA Acknowledgements: R. Sahai, NASA JPL/ Serge Meunier

(Phys.org) —This Hubble image shows IRAS 14568-6304, a young star that is cloaked in a haze of golden gas and dust. It appears to be embedded within an intriguing swoosh of dark sky, which curves through the image and obscures the sky behind.

This dark region is known as the Circinus molecular cloud. This cloud has a mass around 250 000 times that of the sun, and it is filled with , dust and young . Within this cloud lie two prominent and enormous regions known colloquially to astronomers as Circinus-West and Circinus-East. Each of these clumps has a mass of around 5000 times that of the sun, making them the most prominent star-forming sites in the Circinus cloud.

The clumps are associated with a number of young stellar objects, and IRAS 14568-6304, featured here under a blurry fog of gas within Circinus-West, is one of them.

IRAS 14568-6304 is special because it is driving a protostellar jet, which appears here as the "tail" below the star. This jet is the leftover gas and dust that the star took from its parent cloud in order to form. While most of this material forms the star and its accretion disc—the disc of material surrounding the star, which may one day form planets—at some point in the formation process the star began to eject some of the material at through space. This phenomenon is not only beautiful, but can also provide us with valuable clues about the process of .

Explore further: The 'Serpent' star-forming cloud hatches new stars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The 'Serpent' star-forming cloud hatches new stars

May 30, 2014

(Phys.org) —Stars that are just beginning to coalesce out of cool swaths of dust and gas are showcased in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). Infrared ...

Image: Multiple protostars within IRAS 20324+4057

Apr 14, 2014

(Phys.org) —A bright blue tadpole appears to swim through the inky blackness of space. Known as IRAS 20324+4057 but dubbed "the Tadpole", this clump of gas and dust has given birth to a bright protostar, ...

Pitch black: Cosmic clumps cast the darkest shadows

May 22, 2014

(Phys.org) —Astronomers have found cosmic clumps so dark, dense and dusty that they throw the deepest shadows ever recorded. Infrared observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of these blackest-of-black ...

Hubble sees a glowing jet from a young star

Feb 26, 2013

(Phys.org)—This image shows an object known as HH 151, a bright jet of glowing material trailed by an intricate, orange-hued plume of gas and dust. It is located some 460 light-years away in the constellation ...

Recommended for you

Image: Chandra's view of the Tycho Supernova remnant

Jul 25, 2014

More than four centuries after Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe first observed the supernova that bears his name, the supernova remnant it created is now a bright source of X-rays. The supersonic expansion of ...

Satellite galaxies put astronomers in a spin

Jul 24, 2014

An international team of researchers, led by astronomers at the Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg (CNRS/Université de Strasbourg), has studied 380 galaxies and shown that their small satellite galaxies almost always ...

Video: The diversity of habitable zones and the planets

Jul 24, 2014

The field of exoplanets has rapidly expanded from the exclusivity of exoplanet detection to include exoplanet characterization. A key step towards this characterization is the determination of which planets occupy the Habitable ...

User comments : 0