The drama of starbirth (w/ video)

Mar 16, 2011
This very detailed false-colour image from ESO's Very Large Telescope shows the dramatic effects of very young stars on the dust and gas from which they were born in the star-forming region NGC 6729. The baby stars are invisible in this picture, being hidden behind dust clouds at the upper left of the picture, but material they are ejecting is crashing into the surroundings at speeds of that can be as high as one million kilometers per second. This picture was taken by the FORS1 instrument and records the scene in the light of glowing hydrogen and sulfur. Credit: ESO

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new image from ESO's Very Large Telescope gives a close-up view of the dramatic effects newborn stars have on the gas and dust from which they formed. Although the stars themselves are not visible, material they have ejected is colliding with the surrounding gas and dust clouds and creating a surreal landscape of glowing arcs, blobs and streaks.

The star-forming region NGC 6729 is part of one of the closest stellar nurseries to the Earth and hence one of the best studied. This new image from ESO's Very Large Telescope gives a close-up view of a section of this strange and fascinating region. The data were selected from the ESO archive by Sergey Stepanenko as part of the Hidden Treasures competition. Sergey's picture of NGC 6729 was ranked third in the competition.

Stars form deep within and the earliest stages of their development cannot be seen in visible-light telescopes because of obscuration by dust. In this image there are very at the upper left of the picture. Although they cannot be seen directly, the havoc that they have wreaked on their surroundings dominates the picture. High-speed jets of material that travel away from the baby stars at velocities as high as one million kilometres per hour are slamming into the surrounding gas and creating . These shocks cause the gas to shine and create the strangely coloured glowing arcs and blobs known as Herbig-Haro objects.

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In this zoom sequence we start with a broad panorama of the central parts of Milky Way. As we close in on part of the small constellation of Corona Australis we start to see faint clouds and in the final part of the video the full glory of the dramatic star formation region NGC 6729 is revealed in a new image from the FORS1 instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Credit: ESO/S. Brunier/Loke Kun Tan

In this view the Herbig-Haro objects form two lines marking out the probable directions of ejected material. One stretches from the upper left to the lower centre, ending in the bright, circular group of glowing blobs and arcs at the lower centre. The other starts near the left upper edge of the picture and extends towards the centre right. The peculiar scimitar-shaped bright feature at the upper left is probably mostly due to starlight being reflected from dust and is not a Herbig-Haro object.

This enhanced-colour picture was created from images taken using the FORS1 instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope. Images were taken through two different filters that isolate the light coming from glowing hydrogen (shown as orange) and glowing ionised sulphur (shown as blue). The different colours in different parts of this violent star formation region reflect different conditions -- for example where ionised sulphur is glowing brightly (blue features) the velocities of the colliding material are relatively low -- and help astronomers to unravel what is going on in this dramatic scene.

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CSharpner
5 / 5 (4) Mar 16, 2011
but material they are ejecting is crashing into the surroundings at speeds of that can be as high as one million kilometers per second.

Oh! Come On! It is NOT ejecting matter at THREE TIMES the speed of light!!!

Please correct your caption.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (5) Mar 16, 2011
Yes it is ejecting matter at three times the speed of light. It is a confirmation of superluminosity, not so impossible at all. You sound like the doubters of the past, who thought it unlikely that we would ever exceed the speed of sound. Sound is to sound barrier as light is to light barrier.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Mar 16, 2011
Yes it is ejecting matter at three times the speed of light. It is a confirmation of superluminosity, not so impossible at all. You sound like the doubters of the past, who thought it unlikely that we would ever exceed the speed of sound. Sound is to sound barrier as light is to light barrier.

There's a big difference between moving through the atmosphere faster than energy can propagate and moving through existence faster than energy can.

I'd suggest you look into the scope of what you're suggesting before you make such statements.
omatumr
1 / 5 (3) Mar 16, 2011
The drama of the birth of our Sun was very much like the drama of a massive nuclear explosion:

"Elemental and isotopic inhomogeneities in noble gases: The case for local synthesis of the chemical elements", Trans. Missouri Acad. Sci. 9, 104 122 (1975).

"Strange xenon, extinct superheavy elements and the solar neutrino puzzle", Science 195, 208-209 (1977).

"Isotopes of tellurium, xenon and krypton in the Allende meteorite retain record of nucleosynthesis", Nature 277, 615-620 (1979).

"Heterogeneity of isotopic and elemental compositions in meteorites: Evidence of local synthesis of the elements ", Geokhimiya (12) 1776-1801 (1981) [In Russian].

"Neutron Repulsion," The APEIRON Journal, in press, 19 pages (2011).
http://arxiv.org/...2.1499v1

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
yyz
5 / 5 (1) Mar 16, 2011
@SH, I thought maybe he was joking. (the article surely would have said more about this if it were so. Obviously a typo).

A few papers I saw on outflow velocities of HH objects in the R CrA starforming region were typically ~100-350 km per second: http://arxiv.org/...37v1.pdf

Also, no mention of superluminal motion in the current paper: http://www.eso.or...1109.pdf

Apparent superluminal motion has been seen with jet phenomenon in AGN galaxies, microquasars and light echoes in novae and supernovae. Of course these are optical illusions and no matter is actually moving FTL.
CSharpner
5 / 5 (1) Mar 16, 2011
Yes it is ejecting matter at three times the speed of light. It is a confirmation of superluminosity, not so impossible at all. You sound like the doubters of the past, who thought it unlikely that we would ever exceed the speed of sound. Sound is to sound barrier as light is to light barrier.

Before making claims that violate current understanding of the laws of physics, please read this book. It will be natural for you to feel some embarrassment as you'll learn why lightspeed is a maximum speed limit. It's a fascinating read.

http://www.amazon...p;sr=8-5

Further, if this were a confirmatiin of superluminosity, the whole story would be about THAT and the whole physics community would be turned on it's head. It was clearly a typo in the caption. The correct number (3600 times slower) was used later in the article.
bluehigh
5 / 5 (1) Mar 16, 2011
The article on the ESO website says ...

"at velocities as high as one million kilometres per HOUR are slamming into the surrounding gas and ...

bugga there goes a really amazing discovery!
malamucika13
Mar 17, 2011
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