LL Orionis


This photograph is part of a large mosaic view of the complex stellar nursery in the Orion Nebula. The young variable star LL Orionis produces a stellar wind more energetic than the wind from our own middle-aged Sun. As its fast stellar wind smacks into slow moving gas, a shock front is formed, just like the bow wave of a boat moving through water or a plane traveling at supersonic speed. The small, arcing, graceful structure just above and left of center is LL Ori’s cosmic bow shock. It’s about half a light-year across.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

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