Thursday, August 26, 2021

Hubble showcases the awesome beauty of a stellar "nursery" !

12:12 AM |

 The vast clouds of gas and dust across the universe offer scientists the opportunity to observe the formation of stars and, consequently, their respective planetary systems—even providing clues to the formation of the Solar System.

 About 4,900 light-years away from Earth is the AFGL 5180 nebula — and the Hubble Space Telescope has captured a dazzling image that reveals stars being born in this stellar "nursery." "Nursery" of Milky Way stars is found near the Solar System. The AFGL nebula 5180 is located in the constellation Gemini. This is a star-forming region with the right density of dust and gas. Eventually, its material collapses and then a star is born. The amount of dust in the nebula provides a beautiful landscape of color and light, but it hides the glow of the young stars. 

Even so, the image released by NASA last Aug. 13 shows the lights of a massive star forming amidst a dense cloud of dust. "The light from this star is escaping and reaching us, illuminating these cavities, like a beacon through storm clouds," NASA said in a statement. The image was captured by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument, which is designed to capture detailed images in visible and infrared light — so young stars like those in the AFGL nebula 5180 can be seen clearly. In addition to getting more answers about stellar evolution, astronomers hope to understand the Solar System's past as well by studying these still-in-the-making systems.

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