NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a rare Triple-Star System in space.

About Triple-Star System

  • It is made up of the variable star HP Tau, HP Tau G2, and HP Tau G3. 
  • These three stars blaze from the hollowed-out cavity of a reflection nebula, illuminating the surrounding clouds.
  • Central Stars: HP Tau, a variable T Tauri star, a young variable star (less than 10 million years old), that hasn’t begun nuclear fusion yet but is starting to evolve into a hydrogen-fueled star similar to the Sun.
  • HP Tau is 550 light-years from Earth and named after the first start of its type to be discovered in Taurus.
  • T Tauri Stars: These stars are identified by their variability in brightness and strong spectral lines from their chromospheres. They are often surrounded by their birth cloud of gas and dust.
  • HP Tau’s Variability: HP Tau exhibits both regular and random fluctuations in light output. The cause of random variations is yet to be fully understood, but it might be linked to the chaotic processes in a young star system.
  • Accretion Disk: Material from an accretion disk surrounding the star might be causing flares as it falls onto HP Tau.


  • It is a group of stars that appears to form a pattern or picture like Orion the Great Hunter, Leo the Lion, or Taurus the Bull. 
  • Constellations are easily recognizable patterns that help people orient themselves using the night sky. 
  • There are 88 “official” constellations.

Constellation Taurus

  • Also known as the Bull, is a prominent constellation easily visible in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter sky. 
  • Shaped like a bull, with the bright star Aldebaran marking its fiery red eye and the V-shaped cluster of stars, the Hyades, forming its face.

Hubble Space Telescope:

  • It was launched in 1990 and since then has changed the fundamental understanding of the universe right from determining the atmospheric composition of planets around other stars to discovering dark energy.


  • Light Travel Time: The captured light originated from the system 550 years ago when Hubble was not even operational.
  • Protoplanetary Disks: Hubble’s initial observations of HP Tau aimed to study protoplanetary disks, which are believed to be the precursors to planetary systems around young stars.


  • The image showcases a reflection nebula, a cloud of dust and gas that reflects light from nearby stars, unlike emission nebulae which emit their light.
  • The dust in the nebula gives it a characteristic blue hue. The young stars have carved a cavity within the nebula.

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