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Hubble sees a star flapping its wings (video)

26 Jun 2020, 13:00 UTC
Hubble sees a star flapping its wings (video)
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

In the constellation of Serpens, about 1400 light years from Earth, a fledgling star flaps its wings.

OK, I'm being slightly poetic there. It's more like a forming planet gravitationally warped its circumstellar disk into a quadrupolar shape such that the shadow cast by the star onto nearby nebulosity looks like flapping wings.

OK, I'm being slightly too prosaic there. How about we compromise with an image and video of this bizarre and extremely cool object by Hubble Space Telescope, shall we?

The star EC 82 (upper right) casts two long shadows onto the nebulosity around it in this Hubble image of a young star-forming region. Credit: NASA, ESA, and STScI

This image, taken in near-infrared light, shows a star-forming region in Serpens. Many of the stars you see here are quite young, some just a couple of million years old. You can also see quite a lot of gas and dust, common where stars are born (that's what they use as raw material after all).

To the upper right of center is a brightish star called EC 82, situated in the middle of the brighter area of the nebula. In fact, the star is likely massive (2.5 to 3 ...

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