This week’s NASA image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows an amazing pair of planes flying out of a newborn star, unusually active star dropping ionized gas streams. This strange phenomenon is an unusual sight called the Herbig-Haro thing, in this case it is called HH 111.
“These amazing objects are being built in very different ways,” says Hubble scientists. “Newly formed stars are often very active, and in some cases very fast ionized gas drives very narrow planes – because it is so hot the molecules and atoms lose their electrons, making the gas more energized. Ionized gas streams then collide with clouds of gas and dust at speeds of hundreds of miles per second. It is these violent collisions that create the Herbig-Haro equipment such as the HH111.
Hubble had previously shown an unusual view of a pair of Herbig-Haro objects in the constellation of Villa. These two objects were previously thought to be nebulae, so astronomers were instrumental in understanding them. The new class is designed for the first two astronomers George Herbig and Guillermo Haro to study in depth.
Hubble used a wide field camera 3 (WFC3) to capture the image above. Although they emit a lot of light along the visible wavelength, it is difficult to draw Herbig-Haro objects because most of them are absorbed by the dust and gas around them. So to illustrate the point, WFC3 looked at the length of the infrared wave at which the object is still shining, but the light is no longer blocked by dust.