NASA | GSFC | STScI | HubbleSite | 2020 Jun 24
Sometimes nicknames turn out to be closer to reality than you might imagine.Hubble Spots Giant Flapping Shadow ~ Credit: NASA/GSFC
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a striking image of a fledgling star’s unseen, planet-forming disk casting a huge shadow across a more distant cloud in a star-forming region – like a fly wandering into the beam of a flashlight shining on a wall.
The young star is called HBC 672, and the shadow feature was nicknamed the “Bat Shadow” because it resembles a pair of wings. The nickname turned out to be surprisingly appropriate: Now, the team reports that they see the Bat Shadow flapping!
“The shadow moves. It’s flapping like the wings of a bird!” described lead author Klaus Pontoppidan ... The phenomenon may be caused by a planet pulling on the disk and warping it. The team witnessed the flapping over 404 days.
But what created the Bat Shadow in the first place? ...
Hubble Watches the 'Flapping' of Cosmic Bat Shadow
ESA Hubble Photo Release | 2020 Jun 24
Variability of the Great Disk Shadow in Serpens ~ Klaus M. Pontoppidan et al
- Astrophysical Journal 896(2):169 (2020 Jun 20) DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab91ae
- arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:2006.05965 > 10 Jun 2020