Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) and NAOJ

A dusty angel surrounds a newly formed star in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Explore the star-forming region of Sh 2-106, or S106 for short. What shapes or stories do you see? Leave a note below.

S106 is a compact cover of dust surrounding this young star, S106R. S106R formed after gas and dust collapsed under gravity. As the dust cloud became more compact, it began to heat up. Eventually, the cloud heated up enough that hydrogen gas within the cloud fused in a sustained reaction. This reaction creates light and heat. Strong solar winds from the new star push the gas and dust into wing-like shapes. Radiation from the new star causes gases within the cloud to glow like a neon sign. Zoom in close to explore the jumbled detail within the cloud. This stage of the star’s life will not last very long. The winds that shape the nebula surrounding the star will blow the area clean. But some material may be left behind to form planets, comets and asteroids.

S106 is found about 3,300 light-years from Earth toward the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. Astronomers used images from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru Telescope to extend the field of view of this image.