Image of the Day: Mystery of Star Birth in the Orion Nebula
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July 20, 2010

Image of the Day: Mystery of Star Birth in the Orion Nebula

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Three-colour composite of the young object Herbig-Haro 34 in the protostar stage of evolution 1,500 light-years from Earth, near the famous Orion Nebula -one of the most productive star birth regions. . This object has a remarkable, very complicated appearance that includes two opposite jets that ram into the surrounding interstellar matter. This structure is produced by a machine-gun-like blast of "bullets" of dense gas ejected from the star at high velocities (approaching 250 km/sec). This seems to indicate that the star experiences episodic "outbursts" when large chunks of material fall onto it from a surrounding disc.The enigmatic "waterfall" to the upper left, is still an unexplained mystery.

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