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Golden veil cloaks a newborn star

This beautiful new Hubble image shows a young star just emerging from its cloud of gas and dust.

View larger. | This new Hubble image shows IRAS 14568-6304, a young star that is cloaked in a haze of golden gas and dust.

View larger. | This new Hubble image shows IRAS 14568-6304, a young star that is cloaked in a golden haze. Image via ESA/Hubble & NASA / R. Sahai/ S. Meunier.

Stars are born deep within dense clouds of dust and gas, but the Hubble Space Telescope caught this year star at a special time. The European Space Agency (ESA) explained:

Like a hatchling pecking through its shell, this particular stellar newborn is forcing its way out into the surrounding universe.

The golden veil of light cloaks a young stellar object known only as IRAS 14568-6304. It is ejecting gas at supersonic speeds and eventually will have cleared a hole in the cloud, allowing it to be easily visible to the outside universe.

This particular cloud is known as the Circinus molecular cloud complex. It is 2,280 light-years away and stretches across 180 light-years of space. If our eyes could register the faint infrared glow of the gas in the cloud, it would stretch across our sky more than 70 times the size of the full moon. It contains enough gas to make 250,000 stars like the sun.

Read more about this image from ESA

Deborah Byrd

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