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Very young stars in the making show themselves for the first time

Very young stars in the making show themselves for the first time

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a beautiful image of the FS Tau multi-star system. The stars are only 2.8 million years old. It is very young compared to our sun, which is about 4.6 billion years old.

The multiple star system is located 450 light-years from Earth. Hubble has imaged the area before, because many young stars are born there. By studying young stars, astronomers learn more about stellar evolution.

In the center of the image you see FS Tau A. This is a binary star T Tauri. The AT Tauri star is a variable star at a very early stage of its evolution. So small that no hydrogen fusion occurs inside the star. The star has already collapsed from an interstellar gas cloud, but has not yet reached the main sequence. Astronomers call these types of objects “young stellar objects” or YSOs. The energy radiated by FS Tau A results from gravitational contraction and not nuclear fusion, as is the case with the Sun. T Tauri stars are often found in nebulae in the Milky Way, as in the well-known Orion Nebula.

FS Tau B, also known as Haro 6-5B, is located at the far right and partially covered by a dark cloud of dust. FS Tau B is not yet a T Tauri star, but it is a protostar. The protostar is still growing by collecting gas.

These young stars are surrounded by gas and dust from the stellar nursery. If the stars were powerful enough, the nebulae would eventually disappear. Now we can still enjoy the beautiful chaotic surroundings.

In recent decades, space telescopes and satellites have captured beautiful images of nebulae, galaxies, stellar nurseries, and planets. Every weekend, we take a cool space photo from the archives. Enjoy all the pictures? See them on this page.