Strange brew! NASA captures Space Butterfly

NASA has shared another mesmerizing photo, which looks amazingly like a butterfly- a ‘Space Butterfly’! What is it? NASA explains.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 11:42 IST
The ‘Space Butterfly’ is a collection of hundreds of baby stars captured by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. (NASA / Instagram)
The ‘Space Butterfly’ is a collection of hundreds of baby stars captured by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. (NASA / Instagram)

NASA keeps sharing reports and photos of awesome new discoveries and pictures from space that look simply amazing, which leave us virtually bewitched! The truth is that all these dazzling NASA photos are the actual visuals of all the unusual events or objects out there in deep space. A few days back, NASA Hubble Space Telescope had captured the largest ever comet, whereas in a different incident we got the spectacular sunrise on Mars! Among all these strange things happening in space, this time NASA has outdone itself as one of its Space Telescopes has captured a stunning photo of what looks like a ‘Space Butterfly'!

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope managed to capture a cosmic butterfly in space. But what looks like this cosmic red butterfly at first glance is actually a collection of hundreds of baby stars, which is revealed by the infrared image by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The space agency took to Instagram to share this bizarre yet beautiful butterfly- like structure. What exactly is this Space Butterfly? NASA explains

What is this space butterfly photo captured by NASA?

The released picture of a space butterfly by NASA is actually a nebula! A nebula is basically an enormous cloud of gas and dust in space where new stars get formed. Or in other words, it is a womb that births stars! And the two wing structures of the space butterfly in the image are the giant bubbles of hot, interstellar gas blowing from the hottest, most massive stars in that particular region, NASA explained.

NASA further pointed out another cluster of stars named Serpens South which can be seen to the upper right of the butterfly image. Serpens South is the younger of the two, despite the fact that both Serpens South and the cluster at the centre of the depicted nebula are young in astronomical terms (less than a few million years old). Its stars are still trapped in their cloud, but will eventually break free, releasing bubbles like those seen in the image.

This nebula is not only breath-taking, but it also shows how the birth of stars causes the destruction of the clouds that eventually created them. The force of gravity pushes material together into dense clusters inside huge clouds of gas and dust in space. NASA mentioned that these aggregates occasionally reach a critical density, allowing stars to develop at their centres.

When the radiation and winds from the most massive stars in those clouds interact with the material ejected into space when those stars eventually explode, bubbles like the ones shown in the Space Butterfly image can develop. However, these activities disseminate the gas and dust, breaking up dense clumps and slowing or stopping the birth of new stars.

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First Published Date: 18 Apr, 13:10 IST