• Hubble snapped a photo of a new class of star-forming region
  • FrEGGs form within clouds of ionized gas made by new stars
  • The conditions within frEGGS can influence a star's evolution 

The Hubble Space Telescope was able to capture a stunning photo of a new class of star-forming nursery. The conditions within this type of region could provide new information on how stars like the Sun are formed.

The latest image captured by NASA and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope has been identified as J025027.7+600849. It is located in the Cassiopeia constellation and lies about 6,000 light-years from Earth’s neighborhood.

J025027.7+600849 resides in a star cluster known as IC 1848. It is a star-forming region that belongs to a new class of stellar nurseries that are called Free-floating Evaporating Gaseous Globules or frEGGs.

According to the ESA, after hot cosmic bubbles of ionized gas are formed, new stars begin to shine within the molecular cloud where they formed. This occurs as the stars’ emissions ionize the hydrogen within the surrounding cloud through energetic radiation.

Located within these bubbles of ionized gas are the frEGGs, which can also trigger their own star-forming process and create low-mass stellar objects.

“When a massive new star (or stars) starts to shine while still within the cool molecular cloud from which it formed, its energetic radiation can ionize the cloud’s hydrogen and create a large, hot bubble of ionized gas,” the ESA explained in the statement. “Amazingly, located within this bubble of hot gas around a nearby massive star are the frEGGs.”

In the image captured by Hubble, the frEGG appears as a dark-colored compact cloud of gas and dust. It is separated from the ionized hot gas by a purple-colored boundary.

According to the ESA, studying frEGGS can provide astronomers with valuable information on the formation and evolution of massive and low-mass stars. The agency noted that the conditions within frEGGs could influence how a star is formed. The ESA considers the Sun as an example of this concept.

“The boundary between the cool, dusty frEGG and hot gas bubble is seen as the glowing purple/blue edges in this fascinating image,” the agency explained. “Learning more about these odd objects can help astronomers understand how stars like our Sun form under external influences. In fact, our Sun may have even been born in a frEGG!”

This image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope depicts a fantastic new class of star-forming nursery, known as Free-floating Evaporating Gaseous Globules, or frEGGs for short. This object, known as J025027.7+600849, is located in the constellation of Cassiopeia. ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Sahai