Young, Newly Formed Dl Cha Star System Gives Astronomers View of Star Formation Processes at Work

Two stars shine brightly through a ring of swirling dust and gas

Two stars shine through the centre of a ring of cascading dust in this image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The star system is named DI Cha, and while only two stars are apparent, it is actually a quadruple system containing two sets of binary stars. As this is a relatively young star system it is surrounded by dust. The young stars are moulding the dust into a wispy wrap. The host of this alluring interaction between dust and star is the Chamaeleon I dark cloud — one of three such clouds that comprise a large star-forming region known as the Chamaeleon Complex. DI Cha's juvenility is not remarkable within this region. In fact, the entire system is among not only the youngest but also the closest collections of newly formed stars to be found and so provides an ideal target for studies of star formation.
Two stars shine through the centre of a ring of cascading dust in this image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Space news (November 04, 2015) – approximately 160 parsecs from Earth in the Chamaeleon I Dark Cloud –

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope recently viewed one of the youngest and closest star systems found during the human journey to the beginning of space and time. Star system Dl Cha is a young quadruple system of suns deep within the Chamaeleon Complex, a mysterious region of space comprised of three clouds of gas and dust. Composed of two binary star systems, Dl Cha is one of the best young systems to study to learn more about star formation because of its youth and nearness to Sol.

A photogenic group of nebulae can be found toward Chamaeleon, a constellation visible predominantly in skies south of the Earth's equator. Celestial objects visible there include the blue reflection nebulas highlighted by thin dust surrounding the bright stars in the above image center. Toward the top and lower right, dark molecular clouds laced with thick dust block light from stars in the background. The parent molecular cloud Chamaeleon I is located about 450 light years from Earth.
A photogenic group of nebulae can be found toward Chamaeleon, a constellation visible predominantly in skies south of the Earth’s equator.

Dl Cha is located in Chamaeleon I Dark Cloud, one of the closest star-forming regions to Earth, with as many as 200-300 young suns. Newly-formed suns that mold the dust and gas in the surrounding region into a spiraling wrap enveloping Dl Cha in a light-absorbing shroud. A shroud of gas and dust scientists are peering through using the latest ground and space telescopes to learn more about the processes the cosmos uses to create new stars. 

The Chamaeleon I Dark Cloud contains 70-90 mysterious X-ray sources, including Cha Halpha, the first X-ray emitting brown dwarf ever located. As the gas and dust swirls and moves in this region of space, more young stars will be viewed, and the veil surrounding the mystery of these X-ray sources and star formation lifted. A veil lifting astronomers expect to reveal more cosmic mysteries as the human journey to the beginning of space and time unfolds. 

You can learn more about star formation in the cosmos here.

Discover NASA’s mission to the stars here.

Take the journey of the Hubble Space Telescope here.

Learn more about the Chamaeleon Complex and the Chamaeleon I Dark Cloud here.

Read about the Twin Jet Nebula, a truly stunning celestial object with the wings of a butterfly.

Learn about the discoveries made of Pluto and its moons by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.

Learn more about main sequence stars like our own Sun.

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5 thoughts on “Young, Newly Formed Dl Cha Star System Gives Astronomers View of Star Formation Processes at Work

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