Research

Supersonic Stellar Jets

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Astronomers studying stellar jets–massive outflows of gases and particles pouring from the poles of newborn stars–are finding reasons to turn to fluid dynamicists to understand the timelapse videos they’ve stitched together from multiple exposures from the Hubble telescope. Usually astronomical events unfold on such a slow timescale that our only view of them is as a snapshot frozen in time.  Stellar jets can move relatively quickly, though, with portions of the jet flowing at supersonic speeds. Over the course of Hubble’s lifetime, these jets have been imaged multiple times, allowing astronomers to create movies that reveal swirling eddies and shock wave motion previously unseen. (submitted by sakalgirl)

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