August 16, 2016

The Loneliest Young Star

This artist’s concept shows an unusual celestial object called CX330 was first detected as a source of X-ray light in 2009 by NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory while it was surveying the bulge in the central region of the Milky Way. A 2016 study in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society found that CX330 is the most isolated young star that has been discovered. Researchers compared NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) data from 2010 with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope data from 2007 to come to this conclusion.

CX330 is not near any star-forming region. As of the most recent observation, which was August 2015, this object was outbursting, meaning it was launching “jets” of material that slam into the gas and dust around it. Astronomers plan to continue studying the object, including with future telescopes that could view CX330 in other wavelengths of light.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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