Hubble Spots Rare ‘Free-Floating Evaporating Gaseous Globule’ (Astronomy)

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have captured an outstanding image of J025027.7+600849 (J0250 for short), a rare type of stellar nursery embedded within a nearby massive star-forming region.

Fig: This Hubble image shows the free-floating evaporating gaseous globule J025027.7+600849. The color image is made up of observations from Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) in the near-infrared and optical parts of the spectrum. Three filters were used to sample various wavelengths. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / R. Sahai.

J0250 is located approximately 6,000 light-years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia.

This object resides in the open star cluster IC 1848, which, in turn, is embedded within the emission nebula Westerhout 5.

J0250 belongs to the recently-discovered class of star-forming nursery called free-floating evaporating gaseous globules (frEGGs).

When a massive new star — or stars — starts to shine while still within the cool molecular cloud from which it formed, its energetic radiation can ionize the cloud’s hydrogen and create a large, hot bubble of ionized gas.

Amazingly, located within this bubble of hot gas around a nearby massive star are the frEGGs — dark compact globules of dust and gas, some of which are also giving birth to low-mass stars.

The boundary between the cool, dusty frEGG and hot gas bubble is seen as the glowing purple/blue edges in this new Hubble image.

Learning more about these odd objects can help astronomers understand how stars like our Sun form under external influences..

In fact, our Sun may have even been born in a frEGG..

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