Coronet: A Star Formation Neighbor

Sep 13, 2007
Coronet: A Star Formation Neighbor
Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/J. Forbrich; Infrared: NASA/Spitzer/CfA/L. Allen

While perhaps not quite as well known as its star formation cousin of Orion, the Corona Australis region (containing, at its heart, the Coronet Cluster) is one of the nearest and most active regions of ongoing star formation.

At only about 420 light years away, the Coronet is over three times closer than the Orion Nebula is to Earth. The Coronet contains a loose cluster of a few dozen young stars with a wide range of masses and at various stages of evolution, giving astronomers an opportunity to observe "protostars" simultaneously in several wavelengths.

This composite image shows the Coronet in X-rays from Chandra (purple) and infrared emission from Spitzer (orange, green, and cyan). The Spitzer image shows young stars plus diffuse emission from dust. In the Chandra data only (see inset), many of these young stars appear as blue objects, revealing their output of high-energy X-rays and the amount of obscuring dust and gas in the region.

The reason for the blue appearance is that lower energy X-rays, which are depicted as red and green, are absorbed by this veil of material and hence are not seen.

The Chandra data also support the idea that X-rays from very young stars are generated largely from magnetic activity in the outer atmospheres. Due to the host of young stars in different life stages in the Coronet, astronomers can use these data to pinpoint details of how the youngest stars evolve.

Source: NASA

Explore further: We're not alone—but the universe may be less crowded than we think

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Observing the birth of a planet

12 hours ago

Astronomers at ETH Zurich have confirmed the existence of a young giant gas planet still embedded in the midst of the disk of gas and dust surrounding its parent star. For the first time, scientists are able ...

First stars in the universe left a unique signature

17 hours ago

Determining the chemical abundance pattern left by the earliest stars in the universe is no easy feat. A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist is helping to do just that.

NGC 2367: Buried in the heart of a giant

18 hours ago

This rich view of an array of colorful stars and gas was captured by the Wide Field Imager camera, on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. It shows a young open cluster ...

NASA missions monitor a waking black hole

Jun 30, 2015

NASA's Swift satellite detected a rising tide of high-energy X-rays from the constellation Cygnus on June 15, just before 2:32 p.m. EDT. About 10 minutes later, the Japanese experiment on the International ...

What is the habitable zone?

Jun 30, 2015

The weather in your hometown is downright uninhabitable. There's scorching heatwaves, annual tyhpoonic deluges, and snow deep enough to bury a corn silo.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.