Just like in the case of humans, new stars are born every single day. On average, there are 400 million stars born each day in the entire Universe. Our nature seems like an endless cradle of resources, but there are also many mysteries worth exploring. The same thing happened in the case of the HBC 672 star, which is located about 1,400 light-years away from us in the Serpent nebula.
The Hubble Space Telescope operated by NASA and ESA spotted an unusual flapping shadow embracing HBC 672, a newborn star. You are free to observe the beautiful footage below:
Klaus Pontoppidan, who is the lead author of the new discovery and also working at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), put it simply:
The shadow moves. It’s flapping like the wings of a bird!
Just over a million years old
The newfound HBC 672 star is just 1-2 million years old, which practically means that the object is a cosmic infant. Our own star, by comparison, the Sun, is around 5 billion years old.
Pontoppidan further explained:
You have a star that is surrounded by a disk, and the disk is not like Saturn’s rings — it’s not flat,
It’s puffed up. And so that means that if the light from the star goes straight up, it can continue straight up — it’s not blocked by anything.
The disk that surrounds the star is most likely made out of dust, gas, and rock. The light that pierces this ring is the one causing the so-called pair of flapping wings. Luckily for all of us, the Universe never runs out of wonderful insights to present to us. The observable Universe could literally be a millionth of the whole reality that we live in.
The new discovery has been published in the Astrophysical Journal, and you can see the full details here.