Death Of A Monster


Behold: a distant interstellar ‘monster’ in the process of being consumed by the star inside its own head. To wit:

The huge monster, actually an inanimate series of pillars of gas and dust, measures light years in length. The in-head star is not itself visible through the opaque interstellar dust but is bursting out partly by ejecting opposing beams of energetic particles called Herbig-Haro jets. Located about 7,500 light years away in the Carina Nebula and known informally as Mystic Mountain, the appearance of these pillars is dominated by dark dust even though they are composed mostly of clear hydrogen gas. The featured image was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. All over these pillars, the energetic light and winds from massive newly formed stars are evaporating and dispersing the dusty stellar nurseries in which they formed. Within a few million years, the head of this giant, as well as most of its body, will have been completely evaporated by internal and surrounding stars.

(Image: Hubble, NASA, ESA; Processing & License: Judy Schmidt)


1 thought on “Death Of A Monster

  1. Liam Deliverance

    That’s a mind boggling description of a force of nature that’s really as everyday as the tides or photosynthesis.

    To me it looks like an apocalyptic war horse emerging from the dust and he ain’t happy.

    Cheers Chompsky

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