Hubble captures picture of young star’s impressive ‘tantrum’

An infant star shoots out a jet of colorful gas in its earliest stages of formation. (ESA/Hubble & NASA, B. Nisini)

(NEXSTAR) – An infant star was caught on camera throwing a “stellar tantrum,” according to the European Space Agency.

The moment was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, a joint effort by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).

In the epic photo, the “extremely young” star can be seen shooting out a pinkish, glowing jet of gas at a “supersonic” speed, said the ESA.

“As the jet collides with material surrounding the still-forming star, the shock heats this material and causes it to glow,” explained the agency. “The result is the colorfully wispy structures, which astronomers refer to as Herbig–Haro objects, billowing across the lower right of this image.”

The star and its outburst are located in the Orion Nebula, about 1,250 lightyears from Earth, the space agency said. That’s quite far away, but the Orion Nebula is actually one of the closest sites of star formation to our planet, so scientists keep a close eye on it to learn more about stars and planets in their earliest stages.

This isn’t the first time Hubble has caught this infant star acting up. The telescope captured a similar striking photo in 2015.

The young star’s outburst was caught on camera in 2015. (Photo: ESA/Hubble & NASA)

In the older photo, you can see the jet of gas, with its bluish-purple hue, and resulting colorful wisps in the bottom left of the image.


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