PIA20914: Age-Defying Star
Mission: Spitzer Space Telescope
Instrument: Spitzer Space Telescope
Product Size: 1200 x 675 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: IPAC-Caltech
Full-Res TIFF: PIA20914.tif (2.431 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA20914.jpg (173 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

Click here for larger version of PIA20914
Annotated Version
Click on the image for larger annotated version

An age-defying star called IRAS 19312+1950 exhibits features characteristic of a very young star and a very old star. The object stands out as extremely bright inside a large, chemically rich cloud of material, as shown in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. IRAS 19312+1950 is the bright red star in the center of this image.

A NASA-led team of scientists thinks the star -- which is about 10 times as massive as our sun and emits about 20,000 times as much energy -- is a newly forming protostar. That was a big surprise, because the region had not been known as a stellar nursery before. But the presence of a nearby interstellar bubble, which indicates the presence of a recently formed massive star, also supports this idea.

JPL manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech in Pasadena, California. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

For more information about the Spitzer mission, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spitzer and http://spitzer.caltech.edu.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Addition Date:
2016-08-29