S106: A Cradle of Stars - A Region Where Many Stars Are Being Born

This infrared image taken by the Subaru Telescope shows Sharpless 106, a star-forming region of about 2 light years across that lies approximately 2,000 light-years away from Earth. This region is often called a “cradle of stars” because of many baby stars. There is a young high-mass star near its bright center. The hourglass-shaped structure appears to be expanding toward the top and the bottom of the image and is thought to be a nebula created by the flow of matter erupting from the star. The center of this nebula could be so narrow because a massive disk made up of gas and dust surrounds the high-mass star. This image also shows that there are many sub-stellar-mass objects in the region of S106 and the relative number of such objects differs from place to place.