Special Articles

Young Stars and Their Surroundings

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Science  30 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5317, pp. 1355-1359
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5317.1355

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As stars are created by the gravitational contraction of knots in giant interstellar clouds, they shed angular momentum and magnetic and gravitational energy in an interplay of complex circumstellar structures: swirling disks, fast collimated jets, and shock waves in the surrounding cloud. Many of these structures were inferred a decade ago from ground-based telescope observations. The high resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope and other instruments has now revealed these circumstellar regions in great detail, showing features never before imagined. In the Orion Nebula alone, examples of all types of interactions between young stars and their environment can be seen simultaneously, highlighting circumstellar dynamics in sharp relief in one of astronomy’s most famous objects.

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