SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Baby Star, Crescent Earth, More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Baby Star, Crescent Earth, More
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November 16, 2009--An artist's rendering shows a disk of hot, ionized gas surrounding Source I--a massive young star still taking shape inside the Great Nebula, which sits in the constellation Orion.

Cooler gases stream from the disk's upper and lower surfaces, as indicated by colored arrows. As the whole system rotates, these gases are shaped into an hourglass by the fledgling star's magnetic field, depicted as thin blue lines.

Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory drew this new picture of the birth of a massive star based on two years' worth of radio emissions coming from Source I.
—Illustration courtesy Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF
 
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