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Published on Jul 10, 2012
The latest observations of a newly born star have found that it has a pair of spots on its surface that are heated to more than one million degrees. The presence of these spots, which are hot enough to produce X-ray radiation, confirms a theory for how stellar infants grow which Professor of Astronomy David Weintraub and his colleague Joel Kastner from Rochester Institute of Technology advanced several years ago.
During outbursts, the X-ray emissions of the infant star in McNeil's Nebula may brighten 100-fold. In this animation, magnetic fields drive powerful flows of dust and gas onto the star, creating two hot spots that produce the high-energy X-ray emissions. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center)