Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




STELLAR CHEMISTRY
An Island Of Stars In The Making On The Outskirts Of Orion
by Staff Writers
La Silla, Chile (ESO) Mar 09, 2010


Although NGC 1788 appears at first glance to be an isolated cloud, observations covering a field beyond the one presented in this image have revealed that bright, massive stars, belonging to the vast stellar groupings in Orion, have played a decisive role in shaping NGC 1788 and stimulating the formation of its stars. For a larger version of this image please go here.

The delicate nebula NGC 1788, located in a dark and often neglected corner of the Orion constellation, is revealed in a new and finely nuanced image that ESO has just released. Although this ghostly cloud is rather isolated from Orion's bright stars, the latter's powerful winds and light have had a strong impact on the nebula, forging its shape and making it home to a multitude of infant suns.

Stargazers all over the world are familiar with the distinctive profile of the constellation of Orion (the Hunter). Fewer know about the nebula NGC 1788, a subtle, hidden treasure just a few degrees away from the bright stars in Orion's belt.

NGC 1788 is a reflection nebula, whose gas and dust scatter the light coming from a small cluster of young stars in such a way that the tenuous glow forms a shape reminiscent of a gigantic bat spreading its wings.

Very few of the stars belonging to the nebula are visible in this image, as most of them are obscured by the dusty cocoons surrounding them. The most prominent, named HD 293815, can be distinguished as the bright star in the upper part of the cloud, just above the centre of the image and the pronounced dark lane of dust extending through the nebula.

Although NGC 1788 appears at first glance to be an isolated cloud, observations covering a field beyond the one presented in this image have revealed that bright, massive stars, belonging to the vast stellar groupings in Orion, have played a decisive role in shaping NGC 1788 and stimulating the formation of its stars.

They are also responsible for setting the hydrogen gas ablaze in the parts of the nebula facing Orion, leading to the red, almost vertical rim visible in the left half of the image.

All the stars in this region are extremely young, with an average age of only a million years, a blink of an eye compared to the Sun's age of 4.5 billion years.

Analysing them in detail, astronomers have discovered that these "preschool" stars fall naturally into three well separated classes: the slightly older ones, located on the left side of the red rim, the fairly young ones, to its right, making up the small cluster enclosed in the nebula and illuminating it, and eventually the very youngest stars, still deeply embedded in their nascent dusty cocoons, further to the right.

Although none of the latter are visible in this image because of the obscuring dust, dozens of them have been revealed through observations in the infrared and millimetre wavelengths of light.

This fine distribution of stars, with the older ones closer to Orion and the younger ones concentrated on the opposite side, suggests that a wave of star formation, generated around the hot and massive stars in Orion, propagated throughout NGC 1788 and beyond.

This image has been obtained using the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile.

.


Related Links
La Silla Observatory
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Bully Galaxy Rules The Neighborhood
Paris, France (ESA) Mar 08, 2010
Located half a billion light-years from Earth, ESO 306-17, is a large, bright elliptical galaxy in the southern sky of a type known as a fossil group. Astronomers use this term to emphasise the isolated nature of these galaxies. However, are they like fossils - the last remnants of a once active community - or is it more sinister than that? Did ESO 306-17 gobble up its next-door neighbours? ... read more


STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Rocket To Go To Moon Under Design

Student Ready To Battle At 17th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

Biggest, Deepest Crater Exposes Hidden, Ancient Moon

Deep Crater Exposes Hidden Ancient Moon

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Lava Likely Made River-Like Channel On Mars

Phobos Flyby Success

Spirit Set For Another Cold Quiet Winter

NASA Mars Orbiter Speeds Past Data Milestone

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Obama to host April space conference

Popular Space Artist Had Extensive Ties To UA

LockMart Orion Team Fabricates World's Largest Heat Shield Structure

NASA Increases Support Contract To Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
China Plans To Launch Unmanned Space Module Next Year

Two Crews For Tiangong

China Developing Technologies For Own Space Program

China announces second lunar probe

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Alternative Energy Crops In Space

Boeing Transfers US Portions of International Space Station to NASA

Orbital Sciences Selects GS Yuasa to Power Cargo Transport Missions To ISS

Canada to boost space research

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
France To Pay Russia One Billion For 14 Soyuz Carrier Rockets

ASTRA 3B Topped Off For Arianespace Year-Opening Flight

NASA's high-tech GOES-P weather satellite lifts off

Kazakhstan Says Russian Proton launches To Continue

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
How To Hunt For Exoplanets

Watching A Planetary Death March

Seeing ExoPlanet Atmospheres From The Ground

New Technique For Detecting Earth-Like Planets

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Lockheed To Supply Advanced Airborne Early Warning Radar

TerraSAR-X Images International Space Station

'Avatar' inspires a high-tech fair in glorious 3D

USAF Eyes Mini-Thrusters For Use In Satellite Propulsion




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement