Crystal Rain in Infant Star HOPS-68

With the help NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers found the crystal rain around a newly forming protostar, called HOPS-68, in the constellation of Orion. It ‘s 1,350 light-years away in the constellation Orion.This is the first time such crystals have been observed in the dusty clouds of gas that go around forming stars. The crystals are from the olivine silicate minerals known as forsterite, and are similar to those found on the green sand  beaches of Hawaii.Astronomers are still researching the origin of these crystals, but the most likely version are jets of gas blasting away from the proto-star.

According to researcher Tom Megeath of the University of Toledo should have temperatures as hot as lava to make these crystals, near 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (700 degrees Celsius).The discovery of the crystals in the outer collapsing cloud of a protostar is surprising because of the cloud’s colder temperatures, about minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 170 degrees Celsius). Astronomers think that the crystals were cooked up near the surface of the forming star then carried up into the nearby cloud where temperatures are much colder and in the final fell down again.