A new image recently captured by the Hubble Space Telescope shows a stunning view of celestial objects within the Taurus constellation, over 450 light-years away from Earth.
This new image shows multiple star system XZ Tauri as it blows a bubble of hot gas into its surrounding space. It also shows several of XZ Tauri's neighbors and nearby objects.
XZ Tauri sits left of center in the image, embedded in a reddish cloud. At first glance, it seems there is only one star there, but previous observations suggest that the system contains a total of three stars. There is a hot bubble of gas, the small orange section at the top left of XZ Tauri in the image, that streaks out from the star system. When this bubble hits slower material, it creates pulses of light and shockwaves.
At the top right of XZ Tauri are feathers of red that streak from blue clumps on the right. The bright blue part of the image is a star system called HL Tauri. HL Tauri is associated with a Herbig Haro object (HH 150), which is a streak of gas that results from newborn stars.
HL Tauri recently made headlines when the the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile captured a high-resolution photo of planets forming within its system. That photo not only shows how planets form, but confirms current scientific theories about planet formation.
At the bottom right of Hubble's image is another Herbig Haro object (HH 30), this one associated with a star called V1213 Tauri. That star, though, remains hidden in this image because of a disk of dust that blocks light from it, although we can see the light it reflects and its jets that stream out into space. The jets are a result of the star's magnetic fields sucking up gas from the dust disc and emitting it from its two poles.
"Hubble previously viewed HH 30, alongside XZ Tauri, with its Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 between the years of 1995 and 2000," writes the Hubble team. "The observations were used to image and study the changes in disc brightness and jet strength over the five-year period."
[Photo Credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA]