The Hubble Space Telescope operated by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) has captured a stunning photo of newborn stars. According to the space agencies, the stars were formed by the concentration of gas and dust within the region.
The space telescope was able to spot the blossoming stars in a region known as NGC 1333, which is a massive cosmic cloud filled with gas and dust. NGC 1333 is situated in the constellation Perseus and is located about a thousand light-years from Earth.
According to the ESA, the region harbors two groups of new stars that were formed only about two million years ago. The agency explained that the light from the stars formed within this area are reflected onto the objects in NGC 1333’s surrounding region, which is the reason why it has been referred to as the reflection nebula.
“The cool gas and dust concentrated in this region is generating new stars whose light is then reflecting off the surrounding material, lighting it up and making this object’s lingering presence known to us,” the ESA explained in a statement. “NGC 1333 is accordingly classified as a reflection nebula.”
As noted by the ESA, the latest photo captured by Hubble only shows a small portion of NGC 1333. In previous images taken by the space telescope, other star-forming regions can be spotted within the cosmic cloud.
In a previous photo captured by Hubble in December, traces of the star-formation process within the cloud can be spotted within the image. According to the ESA, these traces usually move away from the stars that created them at speeds of up to 250,000 kilometers per hour.
Since many of the newly formed stars appear clustered together in the region, the ESA referred to them as teams participating in a cosmic game of football, which the region the agency dubbed as the Champions League.
“This image shows just a single region of NGC 1333,” ESA stated. “Hubble has imaged NGC 1333 more widely before, revealing that the smattering of stars seen here has ample company. Seen in a broader context, this team of stars is but one gathering amongst many in NGC 1333’s celestial Champions League.”
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