Trifid triple threat

Aug 26, 2009
The massive star factory known as the Trifid Nebula was captured in all its glory with the Wide-Field Imager camera attached to the MPG/ESO 2.2m telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in northern Chile. So named for the dark dust bands that trisect its glowing heart, the Trifid Nebula is a rare combination of three nebulae types that reveal the fury of freshly formed stars and point to more star birth in the future. The field of view of the image is approximately 13 x 17 arcminutes. Credit: ESO

Smouldering several thousand light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer), the Trifid Nebula presents a compelling portrait of the early stages of a star's life, from gestation to first light. The heat and "winds" of newly ignited, volatile stars stir the Trifid's gas and dust-filled cauldron; in time, the dark tendrils of matter strewn throughout the area will themselves collapse and form new stars.

The French astronomer Charles Messier first observed the Trifid Nebula in June 1764, recording the hazy, glowing object as entry number 20 in his renowned catalogue. Observations made about 60 years later by John Herschel of the dust lanes that appear to divide the cosmic cloud into three lobes inspired the English astronomer to coin the name "Trifid".

Made with the Wide-Field Imager camera attached to the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's in northern Chile, this new image prominently displays the different regions of the Trifid Nebula as seen in visible light. In the bluish patch to the upper left, called a reflection nebula, gas scatters the light from nearby, Trifid-born stars. The largest of these stars shines most brightly in the hot, blue portion of the . This, along with the fact that dust grains and molecules scatter blue light more efficiently than red light — a property that explains why we have blue skies and red sunsets — imbues this portion of the Trifid Nebula with an azure hue.

Below, in the round, pink-reddish area typical of an emission nebula, the gas at the Trifid's core is heated by hundreds of scorching young stars until it emits the red signature light of hydrogen, the major component of the gas, just as hot neon gas glows red-orange in illuminated signs all over the world.

The gases and dust that crisscross the Trifid Nebula make up the third kind of nebula in this cosmic cloud, known as dark nebulae, courtesy of their light-obscuring effects. Within these dark lanes, the remnants of previous star birth episodes continue to coalesce under gravity's inexorable attraction. The rising density, pressure and temperature inside these gaseous blobs will eventually trigger nuclear fusion, and yet more will form.

In the lower part of this emission nebula, a finger of gas pokes out from the cloud, pointing directly at the central star powering the Trifid. This is an example of an evaporating gaseous globule, or "EGG", also seen in the Eagle , another star-forming region. At the tip of the finger, which was photographed by the (http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/html/opo9942a.html), a knot of dense gas has resisted the onslaught of radiation from the massive star.

Source: ESO (news : web)

Explore further: Astronomer confirms a new "Super-Earth" planet

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New portrait of Omega Nebula's glistening watercolors

Jul 07, 2009

The Omega Nebula, sometimes called the Swan Nebula, is a dazzling stellar nursery located about 5500 light-years away towards the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer). An active star-forming region of ...

An Eagle of Cosmic Proportions

Jul 16, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Today ESO has released a new and stunning image of the sky around the Eagle Nebula, a stellar nursery where infant star clusters carve out monster columns of dust and gas.

Strong winds over the keel

Feb 12, 2009

The large and beautiful image displays the full variety of this impressive skyscape, spattered with clusters of young stars, large nebulae of dust and gas, dust pillars, globules, and adorned by one of the ...

AKARI's view on birth and death of stars

Aug 28, 2006

AKARI, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) infrared astronomical satellite with ESA participation, is continuing its survey of the sky and its mapping of our cosmos in infrared light. New exciting ...

The Last Confessions of a Dying Star

Mar 04, 2008

Probing a glowing bubble of gas and dust encircling a dying star, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals a wealth of previously unseen structures.

Recommended for you

Kepler proves it can still find planets

Dec 18, 2014

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Kepler spacecraft's death was greatly exaggerated. Despite a malfunction that ended its primary mission in May 2013, Kepler is still alive and working. The evidence ...

User comments : 8

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

omatumr
1.4 / 5 (7) Aug 27, 2009
CONGRATULATIONS!

I agree that these cosmic regions of violence are the sites of the birth and death of stars.

The observations seem inconsistent with the nebular story of star formation from interstellar clouds.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
http://www.omatumr.com
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2009
Seems pretty consistent to me Oliver. Not at all what YOU need in any case. You need lots and Lots and LOTS of supernova. One for every single star and for the stars that blew up as well.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
omatumr
1 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2009
MISSING LINKS

The above comment refers experimental data that show a supernova gave birth to the solar system 5 Gyr (5 x 10^9 years) ago , as shown here:

http://tinyurl.com/359q3u

A few of hundreds of observations that forced us to this conclusion are shown here:

1960 data: http://tinyurl.com/natxjt

1972 data: http://tinyurl.com/n6z9g3

1975 data: http://tinyurl.com/2cmusk

1976 data: http://tinyurl.com/ytpoy2

1983 data: http://tinyurl.com/28bk2y

1991 data: http://tinyurl.com/mwsevr

1993 data: http://tinyurl.com/nw9dq4

1994 data: http://tinyurl.com/2knjhb

2000 data: http://tinyurl.com/2otxps

etc.

The data are summarized here: "The Sun is a plasma diffuser that sorts atoms by mass," Physics of Atomic Nuclei 69 (2006) 1847-1856; Yadernaya Fizika 69, number 11 (Russian, November 2006)
http://arxiv.org/...609509v3

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
http://www.omatumr.com
QubitTamer
1 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2009
Ethelred! Ethelred! out of the bag my boy, Oliver posted a reply!!! Or are you doing as i asked elsewhere, getting off the damn computer to go outside and see if you can help an actual person with SOMETHING other than correcting their stupidity????
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2009
Oliver that is the same stuff as always. None of it has ever shown a single neutron in combination with other particles fissioning on their own.

Xenon atoms have nothing to do with your claim of neutrons powering the Sun. They are evidence that a Supernova was involved in the formation of our solar system. No doubt about that but it simply doesn't have a thing to do with your claim of and Iron or neutron Sun.


Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2009
Ethelred! Ethelred! out of the bag my boy, Oliver posted a reply!!!


Its the same reply as always. He just reposts the stuff that doesn't support him. I have already read all that. OK I only sampled some of the links this time to see if anything was different. Even I have to budget my time a bit.

A meaningful reply would be actually in some way engage in dialog. However this is as close as he has come in sometime.

He gets an attaboy for that. If he admits that he can't give evidence to support his claims I will congratulate on taking a major step.

! Or are you doing as i asked elsewhere,


Do you have clue that I don't take advice from trolls? Especially one that has supported spammers.

I work retail. I deal with people all day. Every once in a while I even tell people that you should find a friend or even a kid in the neighborhood to help them. Sometimes I feel like banging my head against the wall but the wouldn't help either.

It is amazing just how many people tell me that nothing is happening at all on their PC so they must have a virus. Then after pulling two incisors and a molar they admit that nothing did not consist of a black screen. In some cases nothing was them not getting to the damn site that infected them.

Some people shouldn't be allowed to own billions of transistors without a helping hand.

You remain mine till the end of the month. Then you will be released. Kind of like the idiots that picked fights with me in junior high. They learned faster than you.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
QubitTamer
1 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2009
Yeah, your life sucks ass...try suicide dude because you aren't doing ANYTHING to make it better. A 58 year old working retail dealing with technical support issues... Just fucking veer into a tree dude. And you're still upset over junior high... so the whole 58 years old bit is a lie... You're maybe 22. So hold off on the suicide bit and see if you can get a degree and make something of yourself. Guess being a scrawny little fuck being passed around in the locker room was scarring...
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2009
Yeah, your life sucks ass...try suicide dude because you aren't doing ANYTHING to make it better


I am having fun. You are trolling me and losing. More fun.

You are on your second week of obsessing about me. So it is pretty clear just who is owned.

I believe the phrase 'get a life' applies to you. But don't bother if you don't want too.

As for scrawny I ran Track and Field. The Sport of Nerds.

And thank you for being so predictable. Typical of trolls on every site.

Begging will still not avail you. You stay in my sig till the end of the month. Obsess all you want. Prove my point for me.

Oh and the right to way to slit your wrists is along the arm and not across. Running around the block might help but the guy that did finally called the a hospital and survived.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.

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.