Hubble and a stellar fingerprint

March 7, 2016
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

Showcased at the center of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is an emission-line star known as IRAS 12196-6300.

Located just under 2,300 light-years from Earth, this star displays prominent emission lines, meaning that the star's light, dispersed into a spectrum, shows up as a rainbow of colors marked with a characteristic pattern of dark and bright lines. The characteristics of these lines, when compared to the "fingerprints" left by particular atoms and molecules, can be used to reveal IRAS 12196-6300's .

Under 10 million years old and not yet burning hydrogen at its core, unlike the sun, this star is still in its infancy. Further evidence of IRAS 12196-6300's youth is provided by the presence of . These hazy clouds, pictured floating above and below IRAS 12196-6300, are created when light from a star reflects off a high concentration of nearby dust, such as the dusty material still remaining from IRAS 12196-6300's formation.

Explore further: Hubble spots a very bright contortionist

Related Stories

Hubble spots a very bright contortionist

June 17, 2013

(Phys.org) —The contorted object captured by Hubble in this picture is IRAS 22491-1808, also known as the South America Galaxy. It is an ultra-luminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) that emits a huge amount of light at infrared ...

Hubble sees a cosmic caterpillar

August 29, 2013

(Phys.org) —This light-year-long knot of interstellar gas and dust resembles a caterpillar on its way to a feast. But the meat of the story is not only what this cosmic caterpillar eats for lunch, but also what's eating ...

Image: Multiple protostars within IRAS 20324+4057

April 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, one of the earliest ...

Violent birth announcement from an infant star

June 6, 2014

(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 ...

A star's moment in the spotlight

February 10, 2016

The glowing region in this new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope is a reflection nebula known as IC 2631. These objects are clouds of cosmic dust that reflect light from a nearby star into space, creating a stunning ...

Image: Hubble's diamond in the dust

February 23, 2016

Surrounded by an envelope of dust, the subject of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a young forming star known as HBC 1. The star is in an immature and adolescent phase of life, while most of a sun-like star's ...

Recommended for you

Fossilized rivers suggest warm, wet ancient Mars

August 23, 2016

Extensive systems of fossilised riverbeds have been discovered on an ancient region of the Martian surface, supporting the idea that the now cold and dry Red Planet had a warm and wet climate about 4 billion years ago, according ...

Image: Planck's flame-filled view of the Polaris Flare

August 23, 2016

This image from ESA's Planck satellite appears to show something quite ethereal and fantastical: a sprite-like figure emerging from scorching flames and walking towards the left of the frame, its silhouette a blaze of warm-hued ...

What do aliens look like? The clue is in evolution

August 19, 2016

Speculating about what aliens look like has kept children, film producers and scientists amused for decades. If they exist, will extra terrestrials turn out to look similar to us, or might they take a form beyond our wildest ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

wduckss
1 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2016
Access to this article is changed (blurred) but it is evident that this is a white star. https://en.wikipe...#Class_F
"Their color is white."
White stars means: high temperature, high-speed rotation about an axis, a small radius (relation: mass / radius. Sun = 1), high surface gravity (4 and more CGS). Very fast rotation = the existence of the disk of gas and dust (in large majority of cases). Source http://www.svemir...tml#ring Article 4 and 3.
Readings of more complex elements was determined incorrectly, because they belong to the disk, not the star.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.