Center for Magnetic Self Organization

in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas

LL Orionis Bow Shock
Size: 0.5 light years across
Mass: central star is < 2 solar masses
Distance: 1,500 light years
Temperature: 9,700įC
Flow Speed: 45,000-180,000 mph
Location: In the constellation Orion
Image Credit: Hubble Heritage Team
(AURA/STScI), C. R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt), NASA


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A starís bow shock is similar to the wave at the front of a ship moving through water.

The LL Orionis Bow Shock is formed when fast flowing gas and plasma blows outward from a young star and meets the slow moving background gas of the Orion Nebula.

The two Voyager spacecraft (originally launched in 1977) have traveled beyond our solar system and are still sending valuable data back to Earth to help us understand the speed, temperature, and magnetic field strength near our Sunís own bow shock.

A National Science Foundation Physics Frontier Center,
established in coordination with the Department of Energy.