Hubble reveals an enigmatic cosmic explosion

The astronomical event occurred in the constellation Taurus, according to the new Hubble image .


A layer of thick gas and dust surrounds a bright young star more than 9,000 light-years away in the constellation of Taurus, in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope .

This object, known to astronomers as IRAS 05506+2414 , may be an example of an explosive event caused by the disruption of a massive young star system, they report.

a unique look

The spinning disks of material that surround a young star are usually funneled into the star’s twin outlets of gas and dust. However, in the case of IRAS 05506+2414 , a fan-shaped jet of material traveling at speeds of up to 350 kilometers per second is spreading out from the center of this image.

Astronomers turned to Hubble ‘s Wide Field Camera 3 to measure the distance to IRAS 05506+2414 . While it is possible to measure the speed of material moving away from the star, astronomers cannot tell how far from Earth the star actually is from a single observation. To determine the star’s distance, they measured the distance the outflow travels between successive images. From there they could infer the distance to IRAS 05506+2414.

Knowing its distance allows astronomers to determine how bright the star is and how much energy it emits, and therefore estimate its mass, vital information in determining the origin of this bright young star’s unusual outflow. (EuropePress)