|What does a star look like when it is forming?
The prototypical example is the
variable star T Tauri,
visible as the bright orange star near the image center.
The orange star centered in this remarkable
telescopic skyview is T Tauri, prototype of the class of
Surrounding T Tauri is a dusty yellow cosmic cloud named the
Variable Nebula (NGC 1555/1554).
Over 400 light-years away, at the edge of a
both star and nebula
are seen to vary significantly in
brightness but not necessarily at the same time, adding to the mystery of
the intriguing region.
T Tauri stars are now generally recognized as young --
less than a few million years old -- sun-like stars still in the
early stages of
complicate the picture,
infrared observations indicate that
T Tauri itself is part of a multiple star system. Surprisingly, due to a close gravitational pass near one of these stars,
T Tauri may now be headed out of the system.
The dramatic color
image above captures a region that spans about 4 light-years.
(U. Alaska Anchorage),