Hubble Space Telescope Sees Cosmic 'Bat Shadow' | Astronomy

Mindy Sparks
November 2, 2018

According to NASA, the distant Bat Shadow as Hubble viewed it stretched roughly 200 times the length of our solar system.

Although shadow-casting discs are common around young stars, the combination of an edge-on viewing angle and the surrounding nebula is rare.

The shadow is as black as the dark night, but there are some color differences near the edges, where the light gets through (the Batmobile perhaps?).

"This is an analog of what the solar system looked like when it was only 1 or 2 million years old", Klaus Pontoppidan of the Space Telescope Science Institute said in a statement.

NASA's Hubble telescope has sent back some stunning images of eye-catching sights in the sky, but shadows aren't usually a highlight of the eye candy it produces.

It envelops hundreds of young stars, many of which could also be in the process of forming planets in a protoplanetary disk.

These colossal shadows on the Serpens Nebula are cast by the protoplanetary disc surrounding HBC 672.


"By clinging tightly to the star the disk creates an imposing shadow, much larger than the disk". "Webb's power lies in its ability to see into the dust and gas of these disks to understand the material that comprises these environments that form planets", explained scientist Alexandra Lockwood of STScI.

But in a cosmic (or better yet, comic) twist of irony, "a similar looking shadow phenomenon can be seen emanating from another young star, in the upper left of the image", officials said.

The shadow is actually being cast by a narrow strip of debris that is orbiting the star.

This feature is literally out-of-this-world as it belongs to the Serpens Nebula, a constellation some 1,300 light-years from the Earth. The images, one taken in visible and the other in infrared light, celebrate Hubble's ...

The Serpens Nebula is a reflection nebula that owes most of its sheen to the light emitted by stars like HBC 672.

Most of the shadow is jet-black, but astronomers do see some color changes along the edges.

Researchers have taught an artificial intelligence program used to recognise faces on Facebook to identify galaxies in deep space.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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