IRAS 10082-5647 is a baby star surrounded by a reflection nebula, located in the constellation Vela. Its reflected light is giving the interstellar cloud of gas and dust a pearly glow.
At just a few million years old, the star is a youngster that has yet to begin fusing hydrogen in its core. The star is in its so called pre-main sequence phase, where it will spend around 1% of its life. IRAS 10082-5647 is still embedded in the envelope of gas and dust of which it was born.
For now the star is heating itself via gravitational collapse; as stellar material falls in on itself, the core becomes denser and builds up immense pressure. Eventually the star’s core will get dense enough for fusion to begin, and IRAS 10082-5647 will enter what’s called the main sequence phase of its life, where it will spend around 80% of its life creating energy by burning hydrogen in its core.
This images was taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard the Hubble Space Telescope.
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA