Three stars in a cosmic nursery are seen in a new NASA image.  

NASA released an exquisite image of a trio of stars rising from dust and gas clouds this week. Young stars emerge from gaseous clouds in this trio, forming a cosmic nursery.  

HP Tau, the cloud star at the top of the central trio, fluctuates brightness, according to NASA.  

That might be because it's still devouring cloud material, generating flares, or enjoying the tumult of stellar adolescence. The trio's light allowed the Hubble Space Telescope to photograph this image in Taurus, 550 light-years away.  

HP Tau could become a Sun-like star, but it needs work. It must achieve nuclear fusion, a feature of main sequence stars.   

High pressures and temperatures convert hydrogen into helium in a star's heart. But HP Tau, perhaps less than 10 million years old, requires more time. For reference, the Sun is 4.6 billion years old.  

HP Tau and its star relatives appeared while Hubble was studying protoplanetary disks. Stars are surrounded by pancakes.   

Astronomers interested in our origins prefer to study them as another key component of stellar adolescence. Planets, moons, comets, and asteroids form from protoplanetary disks over millions of years.  

With its Wide Field Camera 3, Hubble caught this picture. 15 years ago, Space Shuttle astronauts installed this vital gear on the orbiting telescope in May 2009.  

Servicing Mission 4 nearly failed. The 2003 loss of the space shuttle Columbia prompted NASA to cancel Servicing Mission 4 owing to safety concerns. “Public support for the mission surged, and two years later it was reinstated,” the agency said.  

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