LRLL 54361 Light Echo – Hubble

LRLL 54361 Light Echo – Hubble

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Fast Facts
News release ID: STScI-2013-04
Release Date: Feb 7, 2013
Image Use: Copyright
About this image

This sequence of images from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a pulse of light emanating from the protostellar object LRLL 54361. Most if not all of this light results from scattering off circumstellar dust in the protostellar envelope.

An apparent edge-on disk visible at the center of the object and three separate structures are interpreted as outflow cavities. The extent and shape of the scattered light changes substantially over a 25.34-day period.

This is caused by the propagation of the light pulse through the nebula. Astronomers propose that the flashes are due to material in a circumstellar disk suddenly being dumped onto a binary pair of forming stars. This unleashes a blast of radiation each time the stars get close to each other in their orbit.

These false color, near-infrared-light photos are from Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3.

Annotated Observations, Hubble Telescope, Multiple Star Systems, Observations, Stars


NASA, ESA, J. Muzerolle (STScI), E. Furlan (NOAO and Caltech), K. Flaherty (University of Arizona/Steward Observatory), Z. Balog (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy), and R. Gutermuth (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)