September 21, 2000

HUBBLE MOVIES SHOW THE CHANGING FACES OF YOUNG STARS

Extraordinary time-lapse movies taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope show that spectacular outbursts from young stars can change dramatically over a period of just weeks or months.

Before Hubble's sharp view, most scientists viewed the universe as timeless; things changed so slowly outside our own solar system researchers rarely considered the possibility of movies. Now with Hubble, pictures taken of the universe today won't necessarily look the same as those snapped a few months from now.

Documenting the startling activity in the early stages of a star's life, Hubble viewed jets of gas plowing into space at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour, and moving shadows many billions of miles in size. Individual images taken over a period of a few years were then combined into time-lapse movies.

The young star systems featured in the movies, XZ Tauri and HH 30, reside about 450 light-years from Earth in the Taurus- Auriga molecular cloud, one of the nearest stellar nurseries to our planet. Both systems are probably less than one million years old, making them relative newborns, since stars typically live for billions of years.

Animation and image files are available on NASA Television, available on the GE-2 satellite, transponder 9C, located at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 MHz and audio at 6.8 MHz.

Images and animation may also be found on the Internet at:

http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2000/32
and via links in
http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/latest.html
http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pictures.html
http://hubble.stsci.edu/go/news

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