Today’s Image of the Day from the European Space Agency features a massive star-forming nebula known as G35.2-0.7N, which is located around 7,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Aquila.
According to ESA, G35.2-0.7N is known as a hotbed of high-mass star formation. “The kind of stars that form here are so massive that they will end their lives as destructive supernovae. However, even as they form they greatly impact their surroundings.”
“At least one B-type star – the second most massive type – lurks within the region pictured here, and a powerful protostellar jet that it is launching towards us is the source of the spectacular light show.”
The image was captured by the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), which is mounted on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA noted that Hubble observed this particular region as part of a program examining protostellar jets.
“These fast-moving jets, which form as gas collects around newly forming stars and last for only about 100,000 years, are known to play a role in star formation,” said NASA.
“Astronomers were interested to learn whether such jets influence the formation of massive stars similar to the way they affect the formation of lower-mass stars. Massive stars are typically rarer, more distant, and more hidden by dust than lower-mass stars, making studies of their jets more challenging.”
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Fedriani, J. Tan
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