Spectacular protostar formations spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope

As part of a survey of 312 protostars, the Hubble Space Telescope has produced stunning images of distant nebulae and new stars.

@AdamHuntTT
Published Thu, Nov 18 2021 8:03 AM CST   |   Updated Sat, Dec 11 2021 3:42 PM CST

Roughly 500 light-years away in the Chamaeleon constellation, within its star-forming region is a reflection nebula designated IC 2631.

Spectacular protostar formations spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope 01 | TweakTown.com
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"Reflection nebulae are clouds of gas and dust that reflect the light from nearby stars. The starlight scatters through the gas and dust like a flashlight beam shining on mist in the dark and illuminates it. Because of the way light scatters when it hits the fine dust of the interstellar medium, these nebulae are often bluish in color," according to Hubble astronomers.

IC 2631 is the brightest nebula in the Chamaeleon Complex, where numerous protostars form and grow. Amongst the clouds of gas and dust, stars are born as clouds collapse under their gravity. The Hubble telescope can detect infrared emissions from the heat energy released from clouds contracting around a protostar. Once enough material gathers, and the protostar's core becomes dense and hot enough, it completes its transformation into a star.

Spectacular protostar formations spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope 02 | TweakTown.com

While the protostar J1672835.29-763111.64 was spotted in the IC 2631 region of the Chamaeleon constellation, in the constellation Aquila, another star-forming constellation designated G035.20-0.74 was captured, producing a beautiful image.

Spectacular protostar formations spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope 03 | TweakTown.com

These images are part of a Hubble survey of 312 protostars previously identified with the Spitzer and Herschel infrared space observatories. Protostars are primarily visible in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum since much of their energy is emitted as heat. The clouds of dust surrounding them obscure any visible light they emit. Combining these infrared observations with those from radio telescopes help researchers to see deeper into these hidden regions than they otherwise would.

More Hubble imagery can be seen on its website.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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