Watch shockwaves blast through space in 14 years of Hubble pics

With a few exceptions, space seems very static to us humans with our short lifetimes. By stitching together some 14 years of Hubble images of young stars emitting huge jets of gas, astronomers have created videos that show how dynamic our universe actually is.

Soon after new baby stars are born, they blast out enormous high-speed jets of glowing gas. By "enormous" I mean ten times the width of our solar system, and by "high-speed" I mean 435,000 miles per hour. Even though these jets are are over a thousand light-years from Earth, they're so bright and moving so fast that it's possible to see them change over mere decades. Hubble has been observing three young stars responsible for jets like these over the last fourteen years, and enough data have been collected that astronomers have been able to stitch years of images together into videos showing how the gas jets move through space:

The point of this research, besides just creating awesome pics, is to investigate how stars form. Some 4.5 billion years ago, our sun was probably doing this exact same thing, and while we're fairly sure that it's an important step towards creating solar systems and planets and all that we hold dear, we don't yet know exactly how it all happens.

ESA/Hubble, via National Geographic

For the latest tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @dvice

User Comments