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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope image reveals massive star birth in celestial tapestry

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope image unveils a dazzling star-forming scene in IRAS 16562-3959, 5,900 light-years away. Witness the birth of a massive star in vibrant cosmic hues.

Updated on: Feb 17 2024, 19:37 IST
Hubble Space Telescope's latest image, shared by NASA, unveils a stunning star-forming region, IRAS 16562-3959, 5,900 light-years away. (ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Fedriani, J. Tan)
Hubble Space Telescope's latest image, shared by NASA, unveils a stunning star-forming region, IRAS 16562-3959, 5,900 light-years away. (ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Fedriani, J. Tan)

n a vibrant display of cosmic artistry, the NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured a captivating image of the star-forming region IRAS 16562-3959 within the Milky Way Galaxy. Situated approximately 5,900 light-years away in the Scorpius constellation, this celestial panorama reveals a dynamic tapestry of colours and activities.

Hubble's Precision Palette

The mesmerising snapshot, composed by Hubble Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, unveils the intricacies of IRAS 16562-3959 through the lens of four specialised filters. These filters, akin to thin slivers of expertly crafted material, selectively allow specific wavelengths of light to pass through, offering a detailed exploration of the region's composition, temperature, and density.

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The Enigmatic Core

At the heart of the image lies IRAS 16562-3959, playing host to a colossal star still in the throes of formation, boasting a mass approximately 30 times that of our Sun. The surrounding darkness, shrouded by light-obscuring dust, is pierced by near-infrared light on two sides – the upper left and lower right – where a forceful jet from the burgeoning protostar has cleared away the obstructing particles. This intricate dance of shadows and illumination provides valuable insights into the birth of the most massive and luminous stars within our galaxy.

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The ethereal beauty of this celestial event was also shared by NASA on Instagram, with the space agency offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of star formation. "This #HubbleFriday view showcases IRAS 16562-3959, where a colossal star, about 30 times the mass of our Sun, is currently taking shape. Nestled in the constellation Scorpius, this star nursery is a mere 5,900 light-years away," wrote NASA.

Elaborating on the celestial showcase, NASA described the image as depicting "a nebula with stars," where the centre glows brilliantly with the light of new star births, partially veiled by dark dust. Coloured layers of gas and dust gracefully billow across the remainder of the image, creating a mesmerising spectacle. The nebula is adorned with foreground stars, each surrounded by large diffraction spikes, adding to the cosmic symphony captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

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First Published Date: 17 Feb, 19:37 IST