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Space Tuesday, September 3rd 2013 at 12:15 pm

Hubble Finds Space-Sperm, NASA Politely Dubs it a “Caterpillar”

Whatever you call it, it's a stunning image.

NASA Caterpillar

NASA released this image taken by the Hubble space telescope showing a cloud of gas stretching across a light year of space. That’s huge. The official word from NASA is that it resembles “a caterpillar on its way to a feast,” but I know space-sperm when I see it, and that right there is a six-trillion-mile-long space-sperm.

The gas cloud is being shaped by 65 super-bright O-type stars found 15 light years away in the Cygnus OB2 association. They’re forming the cloud into a sperm ”caterpillar” shape with intense ultraviolet radiation. The sperm “caterpillar” is a protostar called IRAS 20324+4057 that is in its very early stage. It’s trying to form into a star, but the radiation from the Cygnus association is preventing that from happening.

Knock it off, Cygnus OB2 association. Let this little sperm caterpillar turn into a star butterfly.

And seriously, look at the Hubble picture. Now here’s a caterpillar:

(image via )

(image via Robin Cafolla)

Now here’s a sperm:

Call a sperm a sperm, NASA.

(NASA via Space.com, image via NASA/ESA/Hubble)

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