Home > Astronomy, Cosmology, General Astronomy, Star & Solar System Formation > Hubble Captures Strobe Flashes From A Young Star

Hubble Captures Strobe Flashes From A Young Star


Image credit: NASA, ESA, J. Muzerolle (STScI)

Image credit: NASA, ESA, J. Muzerolle (STScI)

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced a time-lapse movie of a mysterious protostar that behaves like a flashing light. Every 25.34 days, the object, designated LRLL 54361, unleashes a burst of light which propagates through the surrounding dust and gas. This is only the third time this phenomenon has been observed, and it is the most powerful such beacon seen to date. It is also the first to be seen associated with a light echo.

The cause of the fireworks seen in this Hubble image and video is hidden behind a dense disc and envelope of dust. However, astronomers think that the strobe effect is due to periodic interactions between two newly-formed stars that are gravitationally bound to each other.

These two stars drag material inwards from a surrounding disc of gas and dust. Astronomers propose that the light flashes seen in this video are due to this material suddenly being dumped onto the growing stars as they near one another in their orbits, unleashing a blast of radiation.

Full Story: http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1303/
Also: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2013/04/full/

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