Starbirth, in progress

I saw this image on one of NASA’s Flickr streams and I had to share it. It’s a Hubble image of a star-forming region called the “Chameleon Cloud Complex”. Look how gorgeous this is!

Here’s some explanation:

The segment in this Hubble composite image, called Chamaeleon Cloud I (Cha I), reveals dusty-dark clouds where stars are forming, dazzling reflection nebulae glowing by the light of bright-blue young stars, and radiant knots called Herbig-Haro objects.

Herbig-Haro objects are bright clumps and arcs of interstellar gas shocked and energized by jets expelled from infant “protostars” in the process of forming. The white-orange cloud at the bottom of the image hosts one of these protostars at its center. Its brilliant white jets of hot gas are ejected in narrow torrents from the protostar’s poles, creating the Herbig-Haro object HH 909A.

More, including the full-resolution image, here.


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