Hubble Telescope Views Herbig-Haro 110, a Geyser of Hot Gas

Posted on July 7, 2012

Hubble Image of Herbig Haro 110

Herbig-Haro 110 is described by NASA as "a geyser of hot gas from a newborn star that splashes up against and ricochets from the dense core of a cloud of molecular hydrogen." The plumes of gas resemble whiffs of smoke, but they are much less dense. NASA says the plumes are billions of times less dense than the smoke from a July 4th firework. This Hubble Space Telescope photo shows the integrated light from plumes, which measure lightyears across. You can view a very large image of Herbig-Haro 110 here.

HubbleSite says Herbig-Haro (HH) objects come in many different shapes, but the basic configuration remains the same. They are formed when twin jets of heated gas, ejected in opposite directions away from a forming star, stream through interstellar space and collide with colder gas. Bow shocks form that resemble that waves of a boat. H

HubbleSite says, "When these energetic jets slam into colder gas, the collision plays out like a traffic jam on the interstate. Gas within the shock front slows to a crawl, but more gas continues to pile up as the jet keeps slamming into the shock from behind. Temperatures climb sharply, and this curving, flared region starts to glow. These 'bow shocks' are so named because they resemble the waves that form at the front of a boat."

You can find out more about Herbig-Haro objects here.

Photo: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)


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