Astronomers photograph a triple star system in the center of the nebula

The presented image was obtained using a 4-meter Nicholas Mayall telescope installed at Kitt Peak Observatory. It demonstrates the region surrounding the HP Tau star system.

A reflective nebula surrounding the star HP Tau. Source: KPNO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/P. Massey

HP Taurus is located at a distance of 550 light-years from Earth. It is a young variable star of the Taurus T class. Such objects are characterized by rather chaotic behavior: they are sources of powerful stellar winds and flares, and also actively emit in the radio and X-ray range.

Such activity is due to the fact that the temperature in the center of a newborn star is still insufficient to trigger a thermonuclear reaction of hydrogen conversion into helium (it begins approximately 100 million years after the formation of stars). Therefore, the main source of their energy is gravitational compression. Most likely, at the dawn of its existence, our Sun was also a T-type Taurus star.

The HP Taurus is part of a triple star system. All three luminaries can be seen in the Kitt Peak Observatory image. The photo also shows the gas-dust clouds surrounding the HP Taurus. This is a reflective nebula. It glows not due to its own radiation, but due to the reflected light of neighboring stars.

Recall that astronomers recently captured a powerful eruption on the Sun.

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