For the first time, scientists have stitched together still images taken from the Hubble Space Telescope over more than 14 years and created a video that is allowing them to see how newborn stars behave.
Watch gas and particles rocket from these stars:
According to the Rice University press release (via Science Daily) stellar jets blast from the poles of newly formed stars at about 600,000 miles an hour. What interested lead scientist Patrick Hartigan and his team at Rice when the saw the video of the stars they followed was that dust and gas within the jet move at different speeds and collide:
"The bulk motion of the jet is about 300 kilometers per second," Hartigan said. "That's really fast, but it's kind of like watching a stock car race; if all the cars are going the same speed, it's fairly boring. The interesting stuff happens when things are jumbling around, blowing past one another or slamming into slower moving parts and causing shockwaves."
. . .
"The fluid dynamicists immediately picked up on an aspect of the physics that astronomers typically overlook, and that led to a different interpretation for some of the features we were seeing," Hartigan explained. "The scientists from each discipline bring their own unique perspectives to the project, and having that range of expertise has proved invaluable for learning about this critical phase of stellar evolution."
These videos allow scientists to see how the stars' behavior influences the surrounding environment and gives them a comparison for computer simulations and lab experiments. The videos follow three stars that are 1,350 light years from earth. You can see more videos of the stars here.