NASA telescope captures cosmic skyrocket: Check out this striking picture

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 05-07-2022 19:08 IST | Created: 05-07-2022 19:08 IST
NASA telescope captures cosmic skyrocket: Check out this striking picture
Image Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage team (STScI/AURA)

This striking throwback picture by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows Herbig-Haro 110, a geyser of hot gas from a newborn star that splashes up against and ricochets from the dense core of a cloud of molecular hydrogen. The image was taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) in 2004 and 2005 and the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in April 2011.

NASA defines Herbig-Haro objects as a rarely seen type of nebula that occurs when hot gas ejected by a newborn star collides with the gas and dust around it at hundreds of miles per second, creating bright shock waves. Careful study has repeatedly failed to find the source star driving HH 110, and astronomers think it may be a continuation of another nearby object called HH 270.

HH 270 jet grazes an immovable obstacle - a much denser, colder cloud core - and gets diverted off at about a 60-degree angle. The jet goes dark and then reemerges, having reinvented itself as HH 110.

According to NASA, Herbig-Haro objects actually release a lot of light at optical wavelengths, but they are difficult to observe because their surrounding dust and gas absorb much of the visible light. The WFC3's ability to observe at infrared wavelengths is crucial to observing Herbo-Haro objects successfully.

NASA's newly-launched James Webb Space Telescope will see deeper into the dust surrounding newly forming stars when it begins its science operations this summer. The powerful space-based telescope is currently in the science instrument commissioning phase and its first full-colour images and spectroscopic data will be released next week.

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