Artist's conception of a protostar pulling interstellar gas onto a rotating protoplanetary disk, which feeds the protostar while generating outflowing jets of material (Photo: Bill Saxton via National Radio Astronomy Observatory)
A pair of infrared images of L1527: On the right is an image from the Spitzer Space Telescope and on the left is a higher magnification view from the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea (Photo: Gemini Observatory)
View of protostar HH 30, showing a clear protostellar disk and well focused jets of gas being emitted along the axis of rotation of the disk (Photo: HubbleSite.org)
Cross-sectional view of the protoplanetary disk and the bipolar jets of a protostar (Image: HubbleSite.org)
The Sun is a bit over 4.5 billion years old, leading many to think of all stars as billions of years in age. Astronomers have now demonstrated that isn't always the case. Using high-resolution millimeter and submillimeter imaging telescope arrays, John Tobin of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and his collaborators have now discovered an infant star whose age is measured in thousands, rather than billions, of years. While at present the protostar has only about a fifth of the Sun's mass, projections point to the eventual formation of a stellar system broadly similar to our Sun and its planets.
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