Just Look at These Hot Young Stars
Just 600 light years away, a modest cloud gives birth to twin stars.
Well, looks like it's tiime to bust out celestial cigars. The ESO, a sort of European NASA that includes Brazil, has captured pictures of a dark cloud, 600 light years away, where new stars are crowning and emerging from the star birth canal.
The cloud of cool-cosmic dust is called Lupus 3, and from our perspective lies at the corner of the constellations Scorpius and Lupus--named for the wolf, not the ulcerous skin disease.
Here's how it works: As the denser parts of the cloud condense, they begin to heat up and shine. Their visible light is initially blocked by the rest of the cloud, but as the young stars grow brighter, their radiation combines with stellar winds and the cloud moves out of the way, much like the passing of the mucus plug. Seen in the center of the image above, the stars are now out--screaming and wet and bright enough to be seen from Earth.
A wide angle shot of these hot young stars. Not just saying that to drive traffic, these are literally hot young stars.
The pictures, taken at La Silla Observatory in Chile, capture the lingering cloud on the left and the new stars on the right as they spew light and wonderment like afterbirth. At just a million years old, these suckling stars haven't begun nuclear fusion yet, and their are still swaddled in glowing gases.
Even though it might seem gross to think about, this how our Sun most likely arrived too, just four billion years ago, and it's a miracle every time. So from Earth, we send you a mazel tov, Lupus 3. After your millions of years in space labor, may those stars always remember to call every now and then.