University of Kent. Region of star formation is shown at the top with two jets. Jets are also visible around a young stellar cluster at the bottom.
Stars begin their lives as giant, cold clouds of dust and gas in space. As this cloud begins to collapse under its own gravity, a warm clump called a protostar is formed. These early stage stars generate strong magnetic fields as they rotate and many also spit out supersonic jets of gas into space. These protostellar jets normally flow out along the rotation axis of the protostar.
Wildlife Wanderer, "African Penguins," via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Researchers studying African penguin communication have found that these birds use six different vocalizations, or calls, in order to convey feelings such as hunger and aggression. According to the study, which has been published in PLOS ONE, four of the calls are used exclusively by adults, whereas the other two are only used by juveniles and chicks.
The mother and newborn baby humpback whale
If you’re still feeling warm and fuzzy after the cheetah birth we covered on Wednesday and looking for more footage of charismatic animals entering the world, take a look at this – a baby humpback a few hours old.
This female octopus was photographed in May 2007 clinging to a rocky wall in Monterey Canyon less than a month after she laid her eggs and began brooding them (near the top of the photo) / 2007 MBARI
This amazing pale purple Octomom off the coast of California brooded her clutch of eggs for four and half a years. That’s the longest known brooding period of any animal on the planet.
Female octopuses typically have a single reproductive period, and then they die. For shallow-water species, parental care lasts up to three months. The previous record holder for longest octopus brooding was the deep-living Bathypolypus arcticus: 14 months in the lab. But we know very little about deep-sea species in their natural habitat.
Milky Way viewed in infrared wavelengths. Credit: NASA/Spitzer
Andromeda is our closest galactic neighbor, 2.5 million light-years away. Previous studies have indicated that Andromeda has twice as many stars as the Milky Way, though some astronomers have estimated that our galaxy is more massive. A new method for calculating the mass of a galaxy indicates that Milky Way is actually half as massive as Andromeda.