Scientists have discovered what they are calling a cosmic caterpillar, which is a cloud of gas measuring an estimated 6 trillion miles long and one light year across.
Scientists have discovered a protostar they are calling a cosmic caterpillar, which is a cloud of gas measuring an estimated 6 trillion miles long and one light year across.
The cloud is located 45 hundred light years away from Earth, and it is next to 65 bright, hot stars that are blasting the cloud with a stellar wind, and 500 dimmer stars that are also contributing to the cloud’s erosion.
Although the cloud is still eons away from becoming a star, this protostar could eventually become as massive as or even larger than our solar system’s sun.
According to NASA: “Protostars in this region should eventually become young stars with final masses about one to ten times that of our sun, but if the eroding radiation from the nearby bright stars destroys the gas envelope before the protostars finish collecting mass, their final masses may be reduced.”
The picture of the formation of gas and stars is made up of two images put together.
The Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys took one image using green and infrared light back in 2006, and the other one was taken using data from the Isaac Newton Telescope in 2003.