Photo: They capture a “butterfly with a wing” burning in space

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Astronomers at the Gemini NSF NOIRLab International Observatory in Chile, about 520 light-years away, have discovered a ‘one-winged butterfly’ burning in space they named the Chamaeleon Infrared Nebula.

The birth of a star produced an ethereal structure in interstellar space, similar to the shape of a pale butterfly on a wing, with a core obscured by stellar dust as turbulent processes disappear when the star coalesces.

Stars form when dense clumps of clouds of molecular gas collapse, and rotate under the influence of their own gravity. As it rotates, matter is pulled into an accretion disk feeding the growing protostar and the mass of gas turns into a star.

As the protostar grows, it produces strong stellar winds and the matter within it begins to interact with its magnetic fields. This substance flows along magnetic field lines towards the poles, where it is released into space in the form of powerful jets.

Astronomy scientists Believe This is what the Chameleon Nebula shows in infrared. According to them, what appears to be a butterfly wing is actually a tunnel dug into the gas cloud around the star by one of the protostar’s jets.

The light from the rising star then illuminates this cavity from the inside, reflecting the gas structures to create a reflection nebula. Although the star itself is obscured by a dark vertical stripe that can be seen at a narrower point. This is what they call a protostar accretion disk. The red dot to the right of this disk from our point of view is the point where a speck of material ejected from the star has collided with the surrounding gas.

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as Picks Science, the process results in a bright, short-lived haze patch, known as HH909A.

Winds and jets from the star can also pull material around the protostar, eventually cutting off the star’s gas supply and ability to grow further. Although by that time the star should have gained enough mass to generate pressure and heat in its core to ignite nuclear fusion that fires it up the main sequence as a full star.

Lovell Loxley

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