Feb 11, 2016 12:29 PM EST
Ultra-Bright Star Creating Stunning Reflection Nebula
A newly formed star in the Chameleon Complex constellation is becoming a stunning reflection nebula, fascinating on-looking astronomers.
According to Fox News, the star known as HD 97300 is illuminating dust particles around it to make what is known as a reflection nebula, which has been named IC 2631. It is about 500 light years from Earth and was spotted with the La Silla Observatory in Chile.
"Despite its dominating presence, the heft of HD 97300 should be kept in perspective. It is a T Tauri star, the youngest visible stage for relatively small stars," The European Southern Observatory said in a statement. "As these stars mature and reach adulthood they will lose mass and shrink. But during the T Tauri phase these stars have not yet contracted to the more modest size that they will maintain for billions of years as main sequence stars."
Like many stars that burn the brightest, HD 97300 is not expected to be quite so luminous for much longer.
"Reflection nebula, like the one spawned by HD 97300, merely scatter starlight back out into space. Starlight that is more energetic, such as the ultraviolet radiation pouring forth from very hot new stars, can ionise nearby gas, making it emit light of its own," read the ESO's statement. "These emission nebulae indicate the presence of hotter and more powerful stars, which in their maturity can be observed across thousands of light-years. HD 97300 is not so powerful, and its moment in the spotlight is destined not to last."
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