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May 10

Herschel reveals new stars in a stellar cocoon

Source: ESA - oshi

This glowing core is the stellar equivalent of an insect’s cocoon. Nestled in the bright centre are two newly forming stars. When they reach maturity they will begin to generate their own energy and shine out across the Universe.

Small, isolated clouds of forming stars are known as Bok Globules after the 20th century astronomer Bart Bok. Back in the 1940s, their identification was an important step towards the realisation that stars form from the condensation of gas clouds in space.

It was not until the Infrared Astronomical Satellite was launched in the 1980s, and the era of space-based infrared astronomy began, that the idea of Bok Globules as stellar cocoons was confirmed by João Yun and co-authors. (read more)

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