The Big Picture: A young star poses for its close-up

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The Big Picture: A young star poses for its close-up

The Hubble Space Telescope spots a lot of stars, but some of them are seemingly more eager to pose for snapshots than others. Take the star you see above, for example. That's V1331 Cyg, a young stellar object that's conveniently sending a jet of gas directly toward Hubble, providing a clear (and rather dramatic) view that isn't clouded by interstellar dust, like its neighbors. Astronomers don't mind that V1331 is hogging the spotlight, though -- this scene offers an ideal way to look for signs of planetary formation and other phenomena that would otherwise be hard to detect. This could be much, much more than a pretty picture if it helps scientists understand how stars grow up.

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