Insight Into: Star Formation

Video Player

Video Versions

From one star's death, other stars are born. 

Star Forming Nebulas
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach.
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA, ESA, and STScI except:
·       Image of reflection nebula NGC 1788 courtesy of T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage), H. Schweiker (WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF) & S. Pakzad (NOAO/AURA/NSF)
·       Taurus constellation drawing from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
·       Orion constellation photo courtesy of Akira Fujii
·       Illustration of circumstellar disk and jets courtesy of ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser
·       Image of HH 34 jets courtesy of ESO
·       Star formation animation courtesy of Aimei Kutt (Brown University/STScI)
Written by Vanessa Thomas
Designed by John Godfrey


 Text, Somewhere in the universe, a star explodes. 

A bright white star goes supernova. A cloud of dust and gas expands outward. 

Text, The explosion sends a shock wave speeding into the cosmos. 

Not too far away, the shock wave slams into a cloud of gas and dust, pressing and squeezing the cloud's contents together. 

The shockwave compresses a red cloud of dust. 

Text, Clumps of material pull together and under the influence of gravity become ever and ever tighter. 

A bright spot appears in the red cloud and grows brighter. 

Text, Eventually these clumps become so dense and hot that hydrogen atoms start to fuse together. 

Several more bright spots appear. 

Text, This fusion process releases an enormous amount of light and heat. 

The bright spots grow intensely bright. 

Text, And from one star's death, other stars are born.