Image: Starburst Cluster Shows Celestial Fireworks

Jul 06, 2010
Credit: NASA, ESA, R. O'Connell (University of Virginia), F. Paresce (National Institute for Astrophysics, Bologna, Italy), E. Young (Universities Space Research Association/Ames Research Center), the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

(PhysOrg.com) -- Like a July 4 fireworks display, a young, glittering collection of stars looks like an aerial burst. The cluster is surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust—the raw material for new star formation. The nebula, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, contains a central cluster of huge, hot stars, called NGC 3603.

This environment is not as peaceful as it looks. and violent stellar winds have blown out an enormous cavity in the gas and dust enveloping the cluster, providing an unobstructed view of the cluster.

Most of the stars in the cluster were born around the same time but differ in size, mass, temperature, and color. The course of a star's life is determined by its mass, so a cluster of a given age will contain stars in various stages of their lives, giving an opportunity for detailed analyses of stellar life cycles. NGC 3603 also contains some of the most known. These huge stars live fast and die young, burning through their fuel quickly and ultimately ending their lives in supernova explosions.

Star clusters like NGC 3603 provide important clues to understanding the origin of massive star formation in the early, distant universe. Astronomers also use massive clusters to study distant starbursts that occur when galaxies collide, igniting a flurry of star formation. The proximity of NGC 3603 makes it an excellent lab for studying such distant and momentous events.

This image was captured in August 2009 and December 2009 with the Wide Field Camera 3 in both visible and , which trace the glow of sulfur, hydrogen, and iron.

Explore further: New mass map of a distant galaxy cluster is the most precise yet

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User comments : 8

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omatumr
1 / 5 (3) Jul 06, 2010
The question is this:

Was the image produced by fragmentation of a central object?

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
vidar_lund
5 / 5 (1) Jul 06, 2010
The question is this:

Was the image produced by fragmentation of a central object?

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel


Yeah, I bet it was a neutron that inflated into a bunch of massive stars.
omatumr
1 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2010
No, neutrons do not inflate.

But neutron repulsion causes fragmentation and emission of neutrons from the centers of galaxies, stars, and neutron-rich heavy nuclei.

Then neutron-decay produces Hydrogen and the volume expands by about a factor of 1,000,000,000,000,000 because . . .

Volume (H-atom)/Volume (neutron) ~ 1,000,000,000,000,000 !

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
vidar_lund
4.5 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2010
No, neutrons do not inflate.

But neutron repulsion causes fragmentation and emission of neutrons from the centers of galaxies, stars, and neutron-rich heavy nuclei.

Then neutron-decay produces Hydrogen and the volume expands by about a factor of 1,000,000,000,000,000 because . . .

Volume (H-atom)/Volume (neutron) ~ 1,000,000,000,000,000 !

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel


Look Oliver, first of all let me tell you a secret. There is no 'neutron repulsion'. What you are talking about is Fermi-Dirac statistics that excludes neutrons from being in the same state at the same time. This is why they are not squeezed into a singularity in a neutron star. However, they don't actively repulse each other, they just don't like to be on top of each other.

All your ideas that you have presented are fundamentally flawed and shows a striking lack of understanding of basic physics principles.
omatumr
1 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2010
Thanks, vidar, for your comments.

Please read these peer-reviewed manuscripts:

1. "Attraction and repulsion of nucleons: Sources of stellar energy"
Journal of Fusion Energy 19 (2001) 93-98.

2. "Nuclear systematics: III. The source of solar luminosity",
Journal of Radioanalytical & Nuclear Chemistry 252 (2002) 3-7.

3. "Composition of the solar interior: Information from isotope ratios",
ESA SP-517 (Editor: Huguette Lacoste, 2003) 345-348.
arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0410717v1

4. "The Sun is a plasma diffuser that sorts atoms by mass", Physics of Atomic Nuclei 69 (2006) 1847-1856; Yadernaya Fizika 69 (2006) number 11 arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0609509

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
yyz
5 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2010
Among the supergiant stars in this cluster, one stands out and merits extra attention. Sher 25 (upper right of the cluster center, flanked by bluish gas) is a very young, very hot supernova candidate 116 times more massive than our sun. This star shares many characteristics of the star that erupted as SN 1987A in the Magellanic Clouds. Even at a distance of 20,000 ly, Sher 25 is predicted to shine as bright as Venus when it goes off. Odds are that this will indeed happen in the next 20, 000 years (and may have already occurred!).

Dr Phil Plait over at BadAstronomy has a good account (with pics) of this unusual star and SN 1987A for comparison here: http://blogs.disc...d-death/

A 1997 paper "The Hourglass Nebulae of Sher 25 and SN 1987 A: Two of a Kind?" can be read here: http://arxiv.org/...38v1.pdf

Definitely worth watching.
yyz
5 / 5 (1) Jul 07, 2010
Oliver K. Manuel,

Even though Sher 25 (mentioned in my post) is due to undergo "fragmentation" fairly soon, I'm not sure how or if "neutron repulsion" may be involved. Have any papers been published that correlate the neutrinos that were seen in SN 1987A with "neutron repulsion" scenario?
omatumr
2.5 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2010
Oliver K. Manuel,
Have any papers been published that correlate the neutrinos that were seen in SN 1987A with "neutron repulsion" scenario?


Not that I know about. But I am not necessarily current in neutrino astrophysics.

As I recall, the claim that solar neutrinos oscillate away was still not taken into account by those looking at neutrinos from supernova explosions when I attended the Eighth International Symposium on Nuclei in the Cosmos in Vancouver, BC, Canada, on July 19-23, 2004.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel