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8 breathtaking images of baby stars

By: Katherine Butler on March 25, 2012, 5:22 p.m.
baby stars hatching in Orion

Photo: NASA

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Young stars emerge from Orion's head

Orion just might be the stud of our Milky Way, a fitting compliment because since the constellation takes its name from a Greek story of a legendary hunter. Pictured here is another “hatching” of baby stars located in the head of Orion. The Spitzer Space Telescope captures this area known as Barnard 30, which sits on the right side of Orion’s head. It is around 1,300 light-years away from Earth. Experts believe that a supernova explosion 3 million years ago may have initiated the star birth. Further, as NASA writes, “Wisps of red in the cloud are organic molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. PAHs are formed anytime carbon-based materials are burned incompletely. On Earth, they can be found in the sooty exhaust from automobile and airplane engines.”