Quadruple Star Imaged by Hubble

Did you know that more than two-thirds of stars are part of multiple systems, where two or more stars orbit a common center of Gravity?  This means that the Sun is one of the minority, being on its own.  Most of the multiple systems out there are in fact double star systems, but some of them are triples and a few are quadruples.  One such quadruple star system, known as DI Cha (in the chameleon constellation), was recently imaged by Hubble.

This image from Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys shows the quadruple star system DI Cha. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / Judy Schmidt, geckzilla.org.

The system lies in the southern constellation of Chameleon, about 520 light years away.  The quadruple system is a young system where the stars are still producing strong winds and blowing away their birth cloud, seen in the image above.  Only two of the four stars are visible in the image, with the others obscured by starlight.

This small grouping is part of the much larger star forming region called the chameleon complex, which is rapidly forming stars across a large area of space not particularly far from Earth.


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