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: Image: Hubble's diamond in the dust

Related Stories

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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: 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 ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

No alien 'signals' from cigar-shaped asteroid: researchers

December 14, 2017

No alien signals have been detected from an interstellar, cigar-shaped space rock discovered travelling through our Solar System in October, researchers listening for evidence of extraterrestrial technology said Thursday.

Dawn of a galactic collision

December 14, 2017

A riot of colour and light dances through this peculiarly shaped galaxy, NGC 5256. Its smoke-like plumes are flung out in all directions and the bright core illuminates the chaotic regions of gas and dust swirling through ...

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.