New stars are born from collapsing clouds of dust and gas, which often show up as dark splotches out there in the universe. A new image from the European Southern Observatory shows how super-bright stars are emerging from the Lupus 3 dust cloud.
Kind of like the smoke monster in Lost, the dark cloud of dust and gas meanders across the night sky. The bright stars at the right side of the image are the babies, newly created by this star-churning monster. The densest parts of this cloud start to heat up because of the intense gravity they are under. This starts the star-building process, as they start to shine.
Lupus 3 is located about 600 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Scorpius. The star-forming process going on in this dust cloud is probably very similar to the way in which our own sun formed more than 4 billion years ago. Some of the shrouded baby stars in this region are probably less than a million years old.
The image below, the best of Lupus 3 ever taken, was captured at the La Silla Observatory in Chile and released today, Jan. 16.
Photo: ESO/F. Comeron
And here’s a video of where in the Milky Way you can find this baby-star factory:
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