IRAS 13481-6124 and its cradle
The object IRAS 13481-6124 (the bright "star" upper left), which consists of a young central star, about twenty times the mass of our Sun and five times its radius, surrounded by its pre-natal cocoon, is the first massive baby star for which astronomers could obtain an image of a dusty disc closely encircling it, providing direct evidence that massive stars do form in the same way as their smaller brethren — and closing an enduring debate.
From archival images obtained by the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope (seen here) as well as from observations done with the APEX 12-metre sub-millimetre telescope, astronomers discovered the presence of a jet, hinting at the presence of a disc. This was then confirmed by observations made with the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer.
About the Image
|Release date:||14 July 2010, 19:00|
|Size:||1425 x 1503 px|
About the Object
|Type:||• Milky Way : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Young Stellar Object|
• Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Disk
• X - Stars
|Distance:||10000 light years|
Colours & filters
|3.6 μm||Spitzer Space Telescope|
|4.5 μm||Spitzer Space Telescope|
|5.8 μm||Spitzer Space Telescope|
|8.0 μm||Spitzer Space Telescope|