The raw material to create stars for millions of years is captured in this stunning, newly retrieved photo from the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory.
The space-based telescope was built to detect radiation that had been invisible to other telescopes at the time. That ability not only allowed it to fulfill its major objective of discovering how the first galaxies formed and evolved, but also made it an excellent choice for detecting dust and gas clouds that lead to the formation of new stars. Although its mission ended in 2013, scientists are still analyzing the wealth of data that Herschel collected over its four years of operation, uncovering stunning photographs such as this one. Continue reading Enormous Stars Forming in the ‘Little Fox’ Captured in Stunning Photo
It is well known that as a massive cloud of gas collapses under its own gravity, baby stars may form. The intense gravitational collapse kicks off fusion processes that begin the coalescence of more matter that feeds into a newborn star. Though the general process is fairly well understood, the details are not. Continue reading Baby Star’s ‘Placenta’ Precisely Measured for the First Time
For decades, astronomers have wondered if Eta Carinae, a massive binary star that shines 5 million times brighter than the sun, was unique, as nothing like it had been found in the Milky Way galaxy, or beyond.
But scientists now know that Eta Carinae, located about 7,500 light years from Earth, is not alone. A study using archived Hubble and Spitzer space telescope imagery found five Eta Carinae “twins” in nearby galaxies, astronomers said at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Kissimmee, Fla., on Wednesday. Continue reading Mega-Star Eta Carinae Isn’t a Cosmic Loner