Hubble Telescope Captures Snapshot of Incredible "Star Tantrum"

Even cosmic toddlers have their own temper tantrums. NASA recently released a stunning photograph captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, one that shows a young star shooting energy out across the cosmos. According to NASA scientists, the star is in the earliest phases of formation, causing a volatile reaction from the cosmic event.

“An energetic outburst from an infant star streaks across this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This stellar tantrum – produced by an extremely young star in the earliest phase of formation – consists of an incandescent jet of gas travelling at supersonic speeds,” NASA writes of the event. “As the jet collides with material surrounding the still-forming star, the shock heats this material and causes it to glow. The result is the colorfully wispy structures, which astronomers refer to as Herbig-Haro objects, billowing across the lower right of this image.”

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The object, called HH34, resides in the Orion Nebula some 1,250 light-years from Earth.

“The data in this image are from a set of Hubble observations of four nearby bright jets with the Wide Field Camera 3 taken to help pave the way for future science with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope,” NASA adds. “Webb – which will observe at predominantly infrared wavelengths – will be able to peer into the dusty envelopes surrounding still-forming protostars, revolutionizing the study of jets from these young stars. Hubble’s high-resolution images of HH34 and other jets will help astronomers interpret future observations with Webb.”

Webb, of course, references the James Webb Telescope, which NASA and ESA officials are currently calibrating after a successful launch earlier this year.

“The successful completion of all of the Webb Space Telescope’s deployments is historic,” said Gregory L. Robinson, Webb program director at NASA Headquarters. “This is the first time a NASA-led mission has ever attempted to complete a complex sequence to unfold an observatory in space – a remarkable feat for our team, NASA, and the world.”

The first pictures from the Webb Telescope are expected at some point later this summer.


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