Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2003 January 27
Explanation: What is happening to molecular cloud BHR 71? Quite possible, a binary star system is forming inside. Most stars in our Galaxy are part of binary star systems, but few have ever been seen in formation. Recent observations of dust-darkened Bok Globule BHR 71, however, show evidence for two young stars forming deep in the cloud, likely close enough to form a binary. Isolated BHR 71 spans about one light year and lies only about 600 light years away in the southern sky. The brighter embedded star -- not visible here -- is about 10 times as bright as the Sun and drives the jet that swept out the empty lane. The above four-colour image was taken with a Very Large Telescope in Chile.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
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