BHR 71: Stars, Clouds, and Jets
June 14, 2003
What is happening to molecular cloud BHR 71? Quite possible, a binary star system is forming inside. Most stars in our Galaxy are part of binary star systems, but few have ever been seen in formation. Recent observations of dust-darkened Bok Globule BHR 71, however, show evidence for two young stars forming deep in the cloud, likely close enough to form a binary. Isolated BHR 71 spans about one light year and lies only about 600 light years away in the southern sky. The brighter embedded star -- not visible here -- is about 10 times as bright as the Sun and drives the jet that swept out the empty lane. The above four-color image was taken with a Very Large Telescope in Chile.
Topics: Nebulae, Star types, Astronomy, Human Interest, Bok globule, Molecular cloud, Stellar astronomy, Star formation, Star, Binary star, Galaxy, Milky Way