Baby star blasts jets of water into space

Jun 22, 2011 By Joel N. Shurkin
An artists rendition of a protostar. Credit: NASA/ Caltech

Astronomers have found a nascent star 750 light years from earth that shoots colossal jets of water -- a cosmic fire hose -- out its poles in bullet-like pulses.

In a process that almost defies adjectives and analogies, each jet of is the equivalent of a hundred million times the water flowing through the Amazon River every second and the speed of the jet is the equivalent of 80 times the muzzle velocity of an AK-47 assault rifle.

The blast creates huge shockwaves around the star and the process may be responsible for sprinkling the universe with water.

And it could go on for a thousand years in each star. Astronomers think all baby stars go through this process as they form, and that our sun did it too once.

The was found in the Perseus constellation in an object called L1448-MM, seen from the earth to the right of the Pleiades, also called the Seven Sisters cluster of stars, in the constellation of Taurus. It is called a low-mass protostar, meaning it is just beginning to grow into a star.

While like that have been seen in other , astronomers, using the European Space Agency’'s Herschel infrared orbiting telescope were able to measure the flow of the jets using water molecules as the tracer.

Lars E. Kristensen, a postdoctoral student at the Leiden University in the Netherlands, an author of the paper, said that all stars are formed by the accretion of dust and other particles in interstellar space and are eventually surrounded by a disk of material that falls into the star as it builds.

The disks are something like the rings of Saturn but far less well-defined, he said, "more puffy."

Material that is not used by the forming star is blasted back out into space from the poles, perpendicular to the angle of the disks.

"We don’'t know the launching point or the exact launching mechanism," Kristensen said. "There is no self-consistent theory that can explain what we are seeing."

The stream of gasses is about 180,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so the water is not liquid, but rather atoms of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, the building block of water. When it gets into space and the molecules interact with the dust surrounding the star, however, and the atoms probably combine to form water ice.

Kristensen and the European astronomers described the jets of being made up of "bullets" of water but that is a bit misleading. The water actually pulses, like a fire hose with an unsteady water supply.

Kristensen says the pulses fly out at 50 kilometers a second, or about 120,000 mph. As a pulse starts to slow, it is rammed from behind by pulses moving faster behind it, producing something like a bow shock wave. Those collisions are what the telescope sees and what he described as bullets.

Each pulse could last a year, which for an astronomer is shorter than a blink.
The bullets are going so fast they eventually fly beyond the accretion disk and the gas cloud around the protostar. The shock waves eventually dissipate.

Besides the hydrogen and oxygen atoms, the jet streams are known to include carbon dioxide and silicon oxide molecules. The Herschel is capable of spotting the light signatures of the atoms through the gas cloud that surrounds L1448-MM.

No one knows how long this process lasts. Eventually, the star reaches maturity and has acquired all the material it needs and the whole process of making a star shuts down, which could be anywhere from one to ten million years.

"We've known about these jets before," said astronomer Mark Krumholz of the University of California at Santa Cruz, who was not part of the research team, but the measurement "is far more precise." Krumholz agrees that all go through this birth process and said that the use of water as a tracer gives astronomers a handy tool to measure these jets.

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Provided by Inside Science News Service

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omatumr
1.3 / 5 (11) Jun 22, 2011
Congratulations!

Hydrogen is probably from neutron decay.

Oxygen must be part of the rocky mantle made mostly of Fe, O, Si, Ni, Mg and Ca that surrounds the neutron star.

Again, congratulations!

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Peteri
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 22, 2011
Oliver: I am sure that you see yourself as some sort of maverick physicist gallantly battling against the established view of mainstream physics, but please, please, I beg of you, give it a rest!

You are not doing yourself any favours trying to explain everything under the sun (excuse pun) using your neutron repulsion theory and have become a bit of a sad joke, which is a shame, because I am sure that you are an intelligent person and have a lot to contribute in many other ways.

Your obsessive pushing of your theory in the face of so much ridicule smacks of either an age-related early-stage mental disorder, OCD, or just pure obstinacy. Seriously, maybe you need to seek some help - and I mean this in the kindest possible way!
Mayday
5 / 5 (5) Jun 22, 2011
Oh, let him be.

I myself have taken to explaining all the odd and anomolous events in my life as the unfortunate result of neutron repulsion. It's rather handy actually.
omatumr
1 / 5 (5) Jun 22, 2011
Perhaps, Peteri, has a better explanation for the similarity of images of pulsars and baby stars, with jets squirting from both?
NickFun
5 / 5 (6) Jun 22, 2011
It's still a baby. It's not toilet trained yet ;)
braindead
4 / 5 (4) Jun 22, 2011
"the equivalent of a hundred million times the water flowing through the Amazon River every second"

Perhaps the "every second" is redundant here "every week" or "every year" would mean the same - flow is a volume per unit time so you don't need to add the time period.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (1) Jun 22, 2011
I find it interesting that strong gravitational bodies exhibit these jet effects (when absorbing large amounts of mass), and the effects seem proportional to the mass.

Since the jets apear to always be polar, I wonder, might they have something to do with frame dragging (strongest effect around the equator)?

I also wonder, might this be part of a mechanism for reducing angular momentum (essentialy spitting it into two linear vectors)?

Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Jun 22, 2011
Perhaps, Peteri, has a better explanation for the similarity of images of pulsars and baby stars, with jets squirting from both?
Electromagnetism works for me, and it's a far stronger force than the weak nuclear force over large distances.
thingumbobesquire
1 / 5 (1) Jun 23, 2011
Here is exhibited the marvelous coherence of a universal tendency for shockwave propagation that inexorably induces the preconditions for life.
alanborky
1.8 / 5 (6) Jun 23, 2011
No offence, Peteri, but won't you feel a bit of a d*ck - the bell end, to be specific - if it turns out Oliver K. Manuel really is the new Einstein!

This's not to say he is, and I'd probably take offence with him if he was to denounce some Ancient Egyptian religious fundamentalist type for claiming it was really Atem Ra masturbating the universe into existence, (because who's to say it isn't), especially when you consider much of what's dismissed as mythology's actually the technical language of the day?

Surely he's as entitled as anyone to identify data which seems to support his thesis? Einstein and his followers, Darwin and his, continue this cherry picking process to the present day, primarily because the more clever we get technically, the greater the volume of anomalous data we compile, and the less and less helpfully such theories neatly explain them away.
alanborky
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 23, 2011
@braindead: "Perhaps the "every second" is redundant here "every week" or "every year" would mean the same - flow is a volume per unit time so you don't need to add the time period."

I might normally agree with you, but in this case I suspect the pulsations seemingly occurring every second'll prove to be some sort of clue to what's going on.

But so will the sheer unrelenting cumulative volume, of course.
vidyunmaya
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 23, 2011
Sub: Cosmology needs best of brains trust- L1448-MM,
ANNAM-APAH-the matter is part of Flowing Sequence.
a lot of scientists including philosophers have not applied their minds to sensitive issues- in-depth East West interaction. 90 percent of the confused state among the community can be reduced by proper enlightened interaction. cosmology vedas Interlinks help in this direction.
I search for typical data around 720 lY- region-tamasoma Jyothirgamyam-Lead Kindly light -cross over region-a jet- L1448-MM, uplinks modes. thanks for his image input.Vidyardhi Nanduri
Peteri
not rated yet Jun 23, 2011
alanborky: Indeed I would have to eat humble pie if Oliver was to be proven right!

Also, I agree that people should be free to highlight data that supports a given hypothesis, however wacky it might seem at first sight - just so long as they do it in a realistic and sensible way.
omatumr
1 / 5 (4) Jun 23, 2011
I would have to eat humble pie if Oliver was to be proven right!


I am never right, but I am obliged to try to tell the conclusion [1] and the journey [2] from a chance meeting in May 1960 with an unusually talented Japanese scientist who convinced me to start research on meteorites in order to write a scientific version of the Biblical story of Genesis: "In the beginning, . . . ."

Tentative conclusion: There was never a beginning to our beautiful, benevolent, infinite oscillating universe.

"The Reality" that surrounds and sustains us - that is sometimes called the Cosmos, God, Higher Power, Truth, Universe and/or What Is - revealed by cause and effect, coincidence, destiny, experimentation, insight, karma, meditation, observation, prayer, providence, serendipity, etc.

1. "Is the Universe Expanding?", The Journal of Cosmology 13, 4187-4190 (2011)
http://journalofc...102.html

2. "A Journey to the Core of the Sun", book in preparation

GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Jun 23, 2011
a mechanism to explain why objects farther out in the solar system are heavy in water ice, and perhaps evidence to support the Ort cloud's existence? I wonder if the theoretical quantities match up?
TabulaMentis
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 23, 2011
Congratulations! Hydrogen is probably from neutron decay. Oxygen must be part of the rocky mantle made mostly of Fe, O, Si, Ni, Mg and Ca that surrounds the neutron star.
The water is derived from space dust containing water molecules, it is not manufactured by the star itself.
Tentative conclusion: There was never a beginning to our beautiful, benevolent, infinite oscillating universe.
Yes there was, it was called the Big Bang!
Baseline
not rated yet Jun 24, 2011
The water is derived from space dust containing water molecules, it is not manufactured by the star itself.


Hmm perhaps I misunderstand the article here;

The stream of gasses is about 180,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so the water is not liquid, but rather atoms of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, the building block of water. When it gets into space and the molecules interact with the dust surrounding the star, however, and the atoms probably combine to form water ice.


I read this that the star is making the gases which combine with the dust to form the water.

TabulaMentis
1 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2011
The article is about 'Baby Stars' before they start producing whatever they make. I think the article implies the baby stars get their fuel from surrounding dust which would also include the water. The water is then spit-out because the baby star is not able to use the water as fuel.
Argon
1 / 5 (6) Jun 27, 2011
You ever wonder why we always end up with an artist's depiction in so many astronomy articles? It's because if they showed you what they are actually able to see you'd scream "shinanigans" and "you're making much of nothing" and "please keep your imagination to youself and just report what you can really see" (smudges, blobs, blurs, and spots: no multicolored masterpieces)! It's depressing how much fanfare is given to this psuedoscience: "Never mind the man behind the curtain" "let me gaze into my magic crystal ball" "what's this I see?"!
omatumr
1 / 5 (4) Jun 27, 2011
You ever wonder why we always end up with an artist's depiction in so many astronomy articles? It's because if they showed you what they are actually able to see you'd scream "shinanigans" and "you're making much of nothing" and "please keep your imagination to youself and just report what you can really see" (smudges, blobs, blurs, and spots: no multicolored masterpieces)! It's depressing how much fanfare is given to this psuedoscience: "Never mind the man behind the curtain" "let me gaze into my magic crystal ball" "what's this I see?"!


Yes. We must always "read between the lines."

Although those who control science do not want to admit it, they seem to be moving toward admitting that neutron repulsion is the dominant force in this expansive phase of the universe.

Anyway, nuclear rest mass data cannot be forever ignored.

All is well,
Oliver

jsdarkdestruction
3 / 5 (2) Jul 18, 2011
of course oliver, its all a conspiracy.
you really are something else, you cant answer when people ask questions that would go against your pet theory, talking about others ignoring data is nonsense.