Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

November 29, 1999
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Arcs and Jets in Herbig-Haro 34
Credit: FORS Team, 8.2-meter VLT, ESO

Explanation: Some features of HH-34 are understood -- some are not. At the core of Herbig-Haro 34 lies a seemingly typical young star. This star, though, somehow ejects energetic "bullets" of high-energy particles, appearing as red streaks toward the lower right of the this image. Astronomers speculate that a burst of these particles might rebound when gas from a disk surrounding the star momentarily collapses onto the star. Visible near the end of each light-year long jet is a glowing cap. HH-34 lies about 1500 light-years away in the Orion Nebula star-forming region. The cause of the large arc of gas on the upper left known as the waterfall remains unexplained.

Tomorrow's picture: Superbubble

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