Source: Gemini Observatory
A dramatic image from the Gemini North telescope illustrates the dynamic and sometimes violent process of star birth. It also demonstrates the capabilities of new filters available to researchers using the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS).
Known as Sharpless 2-106 (Sh2-106), the hourglass-shaped (bipolar) nebula in the new Gemini image is a stellar nursery made up of glowing gas and light-scattering dust. The material shrouds a natal high-mass star thought to be mostly responsible for the hourglass shape of the nebula due to high-speed winds (more than 200 kilometers/second) which eject material from the forming star deep within (see the recent Gemini press release on the birth of a massive star which exhibits evidence of similar processes). Research also indicates that many sub-stellar objects are forming within the cloud and may someday result in a cluster of 50 to 150 stars in this region. (read more)