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: Unique pair of supermassive black holes in an ordinary galaxy discovered

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

A star's early chemistry shapes life-friendly atmospheres

14 hours ago

Born in a disc of gas and rubble, planets eventually come together as larger and larger pieces of dust and rock stick together. They may be hundreds of light-years away from us, but astronomers can nevertheless ...

Image: X-raying the cosmos

Apr 22, 2014

When we gaze up at the night sky, we are only seeing part of the story. Unfortunately, some of the most powerful and energetic events in the Universe are invisible to our eyes – and to even the best optical ...

Mysteries of nearby planetary system's dynamics solved

Apr 22, 2014

Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems now have been solved, report authors of a scientific paper to be published by the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in its ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

First-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project

A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of U.S. high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages ...

How many moons does Venus have?

There are dozens upon dozens of moons in the Solar System, ranging from airless worlds like Earth's Moon to those with an atmosphere (most notably, Saturn's Titan). Jupiter and Saturn have many moons each, ...