Stellar Bow Shock

This Hubble image shows a young star in the Orion Nebula and the curved bow shock arcing around it. Despite its age, the star LL Orionis is energetic, producing a stellar wind that exceeds our sun’s. When that wind collided with the flow in the Orion Nebula, it formed this bow shock that is about a half a light-year wide. We don’t often think about fluid dynamics applying in space, but if we consider a lengthscale that is large enough, even space contains enough matter to behave like a fluid. LL Orionis’s bow shock is in many ways comparable to ones we see form around re-entering spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/Hubble, via APOD; submitted by jshoer)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: