The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has taken a picture of the Chamaeleon Cloud I, part of a large star-forming region called the Chamaeleon Cloud Complex.
The Chamaeleon Cloud Complex is a 65-light-year-wide region of gas and dust clouds that harbors numerous newborn and still-forming stars.
It is located approximately 500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Chamaeleon.
The new 315-million-pixel image from Hubble shows the Chamaeleon Cloud I, one of the three segments of the Chamaeleon Cloud Complex.
“The image reveals dusty-dark clouds where stars are forming, dazzling reflection nebulae glowing by the light of bright-blue young stars, and radiant knots called Herbig-Haro objects,” Hubble astronomers said.
“Herbig-Haro objects are bright clumps and arcs of interstellar gas shocked and energized by jets expelled from infant protostars in the process of forming.”
“The white-orange cloud at the bottom of the image hosts one of these protostars at its center.”
“Its brilliant white jets of hot gas are ejected in narrow torrents from the protostar’s poles, creating the Herbig-Haro object called HH 909A.”
“The cross-like spikes around bright stars in the image occur when light waves from a very bright point source bend around Hubble’s cross-shaped struts that support the telescope’s secondary mirror.”
“As the light waves pass these struts, they coalesce on the other side, creating the bright, spiky starburst effect we see.”
The astronomers studied the Chamaeleon Cloud I as part of a search for extremely dim, low-mass brown dwarfs.
“These failed stars lie somewhere in size between a large planet and a small star, and do not have enough mass to ignite and sustain nuclear fusion in their cores,” they said.
“We found six new low-mass brown dwarf candidates that are helping astronomers better understand these objects.”
Source link: https://www.sci.news/astronomy/hubble-chamaeleon-cloud-i-10526.html