A bright protostar lit up its sibling to life

Like a flame to a candle, HOPS 108 is now burning bright thanks to its big sister.
By | Published: June 20, 2017 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Osorio et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF.

A young star bursting with activity may have lit the torch that kicked another protostar onto the path to becoming a full-fledged stellar machine.


HOPS 370, a protostar 1,400 light -years away in Orion, sent an outflow event toward HOPS 108. HOPS 370 has a few million years of age on 108, and sent out the jet of gas from its poles around 100,000 years ago. In turn, this massive outflow activated a ball of gas that formed HOPS 108, kicking off its stellar life.


The researchers made the discovery by following the path of the jet, which seemed to be in the vicinity of the younger star. There are four stars in the region that could have seen a similar effect.


The discovery was made with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico. The researchers published their results in the Astrophysical Journal.