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This mayhem is all happening at the heart of the Lagoon Nebula, a vast stellar nursery located 4,000 light-years away and visible in binoculars simply as a smudge of light with a bright core.
The giant star, called Herschel 36, is bursting out of its natal cocoon of material, unleashing blistering radiation and torrential stellar winds (streams of subatomic particles) that push dust away in curtain-like sheets. This action resembles the Sun bursting through the clouds at the end of an afternoon thunderstorm, showering sheets of rainfall.
Herschel - Activity - Holes - Cloud - Astronomers
Herschel 36's violent activity has blasted holes in the bubble-shaped cloud, allowing astronomers to study this action-packed stellar breeding ground.
The hefty star is 32 times more massive and 40,000 times hotter than our Sun. It is nearly nine times our Sun's diameter. Herschel 36 is still very active because it is young by a star's standards, only 1 million years old. Based on its mass, it will live for another 5 million years. In comparison, our smaller Sun is 5 billion years old and will live another 5 billion years.
Region - Nursery - Birth - Destruction - Clouds
This region epitomizes a typical, raucous stellar nursery full of birth and destruction. The clouds may look majestic and...
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