Image: Where stars are born

Dec 23, 2010
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA); Acknowledgment: J. Gallagher (University of Wisconsin), M. Mountain (STScI), and P. Puxley (National Science Foundation)

(PhysOrg.com) -- This mosaic image is the sharpest wide-angle view ever obtained of the starburst galaxy, Messier 82 (M82). The galaxy is remarkable for its bright blue disk, webs of shredded clouds and fiery-looking plumes of glowing hydrogen blasting out of its central regions.

Throughout the galaxy's center, young stars are being born 10 times faster than they are inside our entire Galaxy, which results in a huge concentration of young stars carved into the gas and dust at the galaxy's center. The fierce galactic superwind generated from these stars compresses enough gas to make millions of more stars.

In M82, are crammed into tiny but massive star clusters. These, in turn, congregate by the dozens to make the bright patches, or starburst clumps, in the central parts of M82. The clusters in the clumps can only be distinguished in the sharp Hubble images. Most of the pale, white objects sprinkled around the body of M82 that look like fuzzy stars are actually individual star clusters about 20 light-years across and contain up to a million stars.

The rapid rate of in this galaxy eventually will be self-limiting. When star formation becomes too vigorous, it will consume or destroy the material needed to make more stars. The starburst then will subside, probably in a few tens of millions of years.

The observation was made in March 2006, with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys' Wide Field Channel. Astronomers assembled this six-image composite mosaic by combining exposures taken with four colored filters that capture starlight from visible and infrared wavelengths, as well as the light from the glowing hydrogen filaments.

Explore further: Research finds numerous unknown jets from young stars and planetary nebulae

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User comments : 9

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CreepyD
5 / 5 (4) Dec 23, 2010
Here's the main page with the full size picture. Awesome.
http://www.nasa.g...829.html
Caliban
5 / 5 (2) Dec 23, 2010
Vesicular granduer! These Hubble images continue to awe and inspire. Worth every last penny, if my opinion counts.
Tuxford
2.4 / 5 (7) Dec 23, 2010
"Self-limiting star formation" nonsense. What are the odds that this galaxy is just in the right moment in time to be producing so many stars from condensation??? Just scientific rubbish.

Until astrophysics includes a mechanism for producing new matter and energy near the galactic cores, it will never explain these observations. What is the source of the massive in-falling gas clouds needed near the core in order to spawn such rapid star production, especially in light of the violent out-flows likely near the core? Just need to apply a little logic. If the shoe fits...
Donutz
not rated yet Dec 23, 2010
Here's the main page with the full size picture. Awesome.
http://www.nasa.g...829.html


Thanks for posting that!
thales
not rated yet Dec 23, 2010
The NASA "image of the day" gallery:

http://www.nasa.g...otd.html
kevinrtrs
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 24, 2010
Beautiful image indeed!

The conclusions drawn from it are unfortunately highly dubious at best.

No one has ever seen a star being born or recorded that event, so for the researchers to say with such certainty that stars are being formed left right and center is simply speculation of the highest order.
omatumr
1 / 5 (4) Dec 26, 2010
Until astrophysics includes a mechanism for producing new matter and energy near the galactic cores, it will never explain these observations. What is the source of the massive in-falling gas clouds needed near the core in order to spawn such rapid star production, especially in light of the violent out-flows likely near the core? Just need to apply a little logic. If the shoe fits...


Neutron repulsion seems to be the energy source that causes fission of heavy nuclei, supernova explosions, and active galactic centers:

See: www.youtube.com/w...yLYSiPO0
beelize54
1 / 5 (1) Dec 27, 2010
The shape of M82 apparently corresponds the shape of many stellar nebulae, composed from pairs of conical jets - just at substantially larger scales.

http://www.physor...243.html
Tuxford
1 / 5 (3) Dec 28, 2010
Thanks Beelize, for the link. A micro-quasar in M82, but not dynamically centered therein, and sustained radio bright and on the move? Another source of new star forming material for M82 ejected from a mother core star, now in a hyperactive stage? Well, do the stars likely move radially like in our galaxy, rather than orbit? If so, the core star need not be perfectly centered.