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Hubble Captures Rebellious Star Behavior

The Earth-orbiting Hubble space telescope (file photo).
The Earth-orbiting Hubble space telescope (file photo).

The earth-orbiting Hubble space telescope has spotted a young star that is causing havoc with its parent nebula, the cold cloud of dust and gas from which the star was born.

Hubble's images show high-speed jets of material spewing from the new star, which remains embedded within the nebula as it completes the final stages of its formation. Scientists say the super-heated hydrogen gas being ejected into the relatively cold nebula is creating violent activity within the cloud.

The venting gas and star-stoked turbulence have twisted the nebula into the shape of an hourglass.

Astronomers say the process eventually will settle down as the star enters a calmer, later stage of development.

The parent cloud is only about two light years across, which scientists say is relatively small for a star-forming region. The new star has a mass about 15 times that of our Sun.

Astronomers say the nebula and its boisterous offspring are located in an area of our Milky Way galaxy that is about 2,000 light years from Earth.

A light year is the distance light travels through space in one year, about 10 trillion kilometers.