Movies from Hubble Show the Changing Faces of Infant Stars

Time-lapse movies made from a series of pictures taken by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope are showing astronomers that young stars and their surroundings can change dramatically in just weeks or months. As with most children, a picture of these youngsters taken today won't look the same as one snapped a few months from now. The movies show jets of gas plowing into space at hundreds of thousands of miles (or kilometres) per hour and moving shadows billions of miles in size.

The young star systems featured in the movies, XZ Tauri and HH 30, reside about 450 light-years from Earth in the Taurus-Auriga molecular cloud, one of the nearest stellar nurseries to our planet. Both systems are probably less than a million years old, making them relative newborns, given that stars typically live for billions of years. Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 first observed them in 1995. Those views were so intriguing that additional images were taken in 1998, 1999, and 2000. The pictures were then combined into movies that document startling activity in the early stages of a star's life.


NASA, John Krist ( Space Telescope Science Institute), Karl Stapelfeldt (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Jeff Hester (Arizona State University), Chris Burrows (European Space Agency/ Space Telescope Science Institute)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:21 September 2000, 07:00
Size:358 x 254 px

About the Object

Name:HH 30, XZ Tauri
Type:Milky Way : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Young Stellar Object
Milky Way : Star : Type : Variable
Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Disk
Distance:450 light years

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Colours & filters

675 nm Hubble Space Telescope

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