NASA Hubble Photo Shows Stunning ‘Special Stellar Nursery’

KEY POINTS

  • Hubble has captured an object belonging to a recently-discovered special class of star-forming nursery
  • This is called Free-floating Evaporating Gaseous Globules or frEGGs
  • The new Hubble image features an object formally known as J025157.5+600606

NASA has shared a new image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of featuring a special class of star-forming nursery known as Free-floating Evaporating Gaseous Globules or frEGGs.

Galaxies are known to contain innumerable amounts of gas and dust, which makes them the optimal place to form stars. Hubble, the 30-year old telescope used by NASA and the European Space Agency to observe cosmic events, recently took a photo of one region with all the elements for star formation, a frEGG dubbed as J025157.5+600606.

According to NASA, frEGGs are pockets of dust and gas that can give birth to stars.

“When a massive new star starts to shine while still within the cool molecular gas cloud from which it formed, its energetic radiation can ionize the cloud’s hydrogen and create a large, hot bubble of ionized gas,” astronomers explained on the NASA website.

“Amazingly, located within this bubble of hot gas around a nearby massive star are the frEGGs: dark compact globules of dust and gas, some of which are giving birth to low-mass stars,” they continued.

In the new image of J025157.5+600606, the purple and blue glowing shape serves as a boundary separating the “cool, dusty” frEGG and the hot gas bubble. Check out the stunning Hubble image below.

This is not the first time the Hubble has captured an image of an object belonging to this special class of star-forming nursery.

In July, ESA shared a photo of a frEGG called J025027.7+600849, which is located approximately 6,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Cassiopeia.

Called J0250 for short, this object can be found in the open star cluster IC 1848. The star cluster, meanwhile, is embedded within the emission nebula Westerhout 5.

 

Evaporating gaseous globules (EGGs) were first spotted in images taken by the Hubble telescope in 1995 of the Eagle Nebula (also called M16), a star-forming region 7,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Serpens.

“Discoveries about the nature of the M16 EGGs might lead astronomers to rethink some of their ideas about the environments of stars forming in other regions, such as the Orion Nebula,” predicted Jeff Hester of Arizona State University, via the Hubble website, at the time. 

 

For those who want to learn more, NASA has dedicated a page specifically for the most educational photos chosen by editors. The page, called Astronomy Picture of the Day, also features stellar nurseries, which gives more details about star-forming regions located millions of light-years away.

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