Picture of the Day: A Massive Star Is Born

By Rebecca J. Rosen

snowangel.jpg

A new image from NASA's Hubble telescope shows the creation of a massive star, IRS 4, located just below the convergence of the two lobes in the picture. The star, according to the Bad Astronomy blog at Discover Magazine, is an O-type star, with the mass of 15 of our suns and 10,000 times as bright. It's in the star-formning region Sharpless 2-106, about 2,000 light years away. According to NASA, the twin lobes of hot gas, cinched at the middle by a ring of dust and gas around the central star, has the appearance of a "soaring, celestial snow angel."

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: NASA.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/12/picture-of-the-day-a-massive-star-is-born/250097/