NASA has released a truly striking Hubble Space Telescope image depicting the ferocious birth of a star within the Circinus Molecular Cloud Complex which is located some 2,280 light-years away.
The star, which has been named IRAS 14568-6304, can be seen underneath a stunning veil of golden gas and dust. The star also dons a protostellar jet; this tail-like object below the star is some of the leftover dust and gas used in the formation of the star that has been spewed into space at supersonic speeds.
Stars form within clouds of dust and gas that have collapsed under their own gravity. During this collapse, a hot and dense core forms called a protostar which will eventually give rise to the star. This core collects gas and dust from the cloud and although most of this will be used to form the star, some may go on to give rise to planets or asteroids.
As you can see from the image, IRAS 14568-6304 is located within a swirl of darkness. This is the Circinus Molecular Cloud, which is a region rich in dust, gas and young stars that has a mass approximately 250,000 greater than the Sun.