Newly born star lights up nearby nebula in an exquisite light show captured by the MPG/ESO 2.2 telescope. The image is already considered to hold a top spot in the gallery of astonishing space images.
The newly born star at the center of the light show is scientifically named HD 97300. Despite its rather unappealing name, HD 97300 is brightening the neighbouring nebula IC 2631 in an exquisite display. The image captured by the MPG/ESO 2.2 telescope shows the shinning star close to the swirling IC 2631 nebula.
Located in the Chamaeleon Complex, the lighted nebula is just one of many dotting this region brimming with gas and dust, the materials of star formation. The Chamaeleon Complex is located only 500 light years away.
Among the nebulas here, the IC 2631 is a reflection nebula. As its name suggests, a reflection nebula is not sufficiently dense to capture and block the light of nearby stars. As such, it will reflect the shimmering light of surrounding stars in space. The process creates breathtaking images as the one captured by the MPG/ESO 2.2 telescope.
However, some stars send more light in space than others. These are newly born stars, like HD 97300. This newly born star is the most massive and the brightest in this space region of the Chamaeleon Complex. As its light brightens its surrounding, the IC 2631 nebula is illuminated.
HD 97300 is currently a T Tauri star. T Tauri stars are at those at the youngest visible stage of their existence. T Tauri stars mature too. As they reach adulthood, they lose mass and their brightness. However, as long as these stars remain in the T Tauri phase, they will brighten up the sky, metaphorically speaking.
Unlike the IC 2631 nebula, other nebulas in the Chamaeleon Complex do not posses the reflective nebula attribute. They are densely packed with star-forming material which prevents light from nearby stars to pass through. These dark nebulae are visible in the image depicting how the newly born star lights up nearby nebula, but remain dark themselves.