December 4, 2022

Fotograpiya

Capturing Magic Moments

The latest Hubble photo shows the earliest stage of star formation ever recorded

2 min read

Last week, the James Webb Space Telescope gifted us with a magical “hourglass” of new star formation. But good old Hubble is breaking a new record by capturing the birth of a new star in its earliest stages.

This dreamy, ethereal image features a small and dense cloud of gas and dust in the constellation of the Serpent, dubbed CB 130-3. Such dense cores are where stars are born, so we’re definitely looking at something extraordinary here.

“During the collapse of these cores, enough mass can accumulate in one place to reach the temperatures and densities needed to ignite hydrogen fusion, marking the birth of a new star,” NASA explains. “Although not obvious in this image, a compact object on the verge of becoming a full-fledged star is deeply embedded in CB 130-3.”

Astronomers used Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 to capture and analyze the surroundings of this young star. In the picture you can see that the density of CB 130-3 is not constant. At the outer edges, where the cloud is ‘thinner’, there are only fine wisps of gas and dust. But at its core, the CB 130-3 completely eliminates background light.

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This cloud of gas and dust affects the brightness but also the color of the background stars. Stars in the center of the cloud appear redder than those at the edge of the photo. NASA notes that such dense cores are of particular interest to astronomers. No wonder, because they can tell us a lot about how new stars form.

[via Digital Trends; image credits: ESA/Hubble, NASA & STScI, C. Britt, T. Huard, A. Pagan]

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