Loneliest young star seen by Spitzer and WISE

Loneliest young star seen by Spitzer and WISE
An unusual celestial object called CX330 was first detected as a source of X-ray light in 2009. It has been launching "jets" of material into the gas and dust around it. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Alone on the cosmic road, far from any known celestial object, a young, independent star is going through a tremendous growth spurt.

The unusual object, called CX330, was first detected as a source of X-ray light in 2009 by NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory while it was surveying the bulge in the central region of the Milky Way. Further observations indicated that this object was emitting optical light as well. With only these clues, scientists had no idea what this object was.

But when Chris Britt, postdoctoral researcher at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and colleagues were examining infrared images of the same area taken with NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), they realized this object has a lot of warm dust around it, which must have been heated by an outburst.

Comparing WISE data from 2010 with Spitzer Space Telescope data from 2007, researchers determined that CX330 is likely a young star that had been outbursting for several years. In fact, in that three-year period its brightness had increased by a few hundred times.

Astronomers looked at data about the object from a variety of other observatories, including the ground-based SOAR, Magellan, and Gemini telescopes. They also used the large telescope surveys VVV and the OGLE-IV to measure the intensity of light emitted from CX330. By combining all of these different perspectives on the object, a clearer picture emerged.

"We tried various interpretations for it, and the only one that makes sense is that this rapidly growing young star is forming in the middle of nowhere," said Britt, lead author of a study on CX330 recently published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The lone star's behavior has similarities to FU Orionis, a young outbursting star that had an initial three-month outburst in 1936-7. But CX330 is more compact, hotter and likely more massive than the FU Orionis-like objects known. The more isolated star launches faster "jets," or outflows of material that slam into the gas and dust around it.

"The disk has probably heated to the point where the gas in the disk has become ionized, leading to a rapid increase in how fast the material falls onto the star," said Thomas Maccarone, study co-author and associate professor at Texas Tech.

Most puzzling to astronomers, FU Orionis and the rare objects like it—there are only about 10 of them—are located in star-forming regions. Young stars usually form and feed from their surrounding gas and dust-rich regions in star-forming clouds. By contrast, the region of star formation closest to CX330 is over a thousand light-years away.

"CX330 is both more intense and more isolated than any of these young outbursting objects that we've ever seen," said Joel Green, study co-author and researcher at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. "This could be the tip of the iceberg—these objects may be everywhere."

In fact, it is possible that all stars go through this dramatic stage of development in their youth, but that the outbursts are too short in cosmological time for humans to observe many of them.

How did CX330 become so isolated? One idea is that it may have been born in a star-forming region, but was ejected into its present lonely pocket of the galaxy. But this is unlikely, astronomers say. Because CX330 is in a youthful phase of its development—likely less than 1 million years old—and is still eating its surrounding disk, it must have formed near its present location in the sky.

"If it had migrated from a star-forming region, it couldn't get there in its lifetime without stripping its disk away entirely," Britt said.

CX330 may also help scientists study the way stars form under different circumstances. One scenario is that stars form through turbulence. In this "hierarchical" model, a critical density of gas in a cloud causes the cloud to gravitationally collapse into a star. A different model, called "competitive accretion," suggests that stars begin as low-mass cores that fight over the mass of material left in the cloud. CX330 more naturally fits into the first scenario, as the turbulent circumstances would theoretically allow for a lone star to form.

It is still possible that other intermediate- to low-mass are in the immediate vicinity of CX330, but have not been detected yet.

When CX330 was last viewed in August 2015, it was still outbursting. Astronomers plan to continue studying the object, including with future telescopes that could view it in other wavelengths of light.

Outbursts from a young star change the chemistry of the star's disk, from which planets may eventually form. If the phenomenon is common, that means that planets, including our own, may carry the chemical signatures of an ancient disk of gas and dust scarred by stellar outbursts.

But as CX330 is continuing to devour its disk with increasing voracity, astronomers do not expect that planets are forming in its system.

"If it's truly a massive star, its lifetime is short and violent, and I wouldn't recommend being a planet around it," Green said. "You could experience some pretty intense heat for a few centuries."


Explore further

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More information: "Discovery of a Long-Lived, High Amplitude Dusty Infrared Transient," C. T. Britt et al., 2016 Aug. 11, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society mnras.oxfordjournals.org/conte … /460/3/2822.abstract , On Arxiv: arxiv.org/abs/1605.05321
Citation: Loneliest young star seen by Spitzer and WISE (2016, July 27) retrieved 24 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-07-loneliest-young-star-spitzer-wise.html
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Jul 28, 2016
"We tried various interpretations for it, and the only one that makes sense is that this rapidly growing young star is forming in the middle of nowhere,"

Confounding the merger maniacs once again. And still they won't listen. Idiots. Right there in front of you.

Stars grow mostly from within, forming new matter in the cores and ejecting it periodically as the star goes through unstable phases. This one is a pure example.

The gaseous star forming region over a 1000 light years away does not form the stars therein, it is the stars therein that form the gaseous region! Backwards maniacs. You have it backwards. Yet no amount of observational evidence will ever change your fantasy. Merger mania forever! No need to understand!

Jul 28, 2016
"The more isolated old launches faster" jets, "or outflows of material that slam into the gas and dust around it.
"The disk has probably heated to the point where the gas in the disk has become ionized, leading to a rapid increase in how fast the material falls onto the star,"

A solid and irrefutable evidence that the body grow. Now it should apply to all bodiestaking into account the the different growth rhythm.
The disc is away from the stars (as Jupiter and Saturn). The claim that the star heats the gas is ridiculous, if there is a elevated temperature she arises as a result of friction between the layers of the disc.

Jul 28, 2016
Stars grow mostly from within, forming new matter in the cores and ejecting it periodically as the star goes through unstable phases.

Is there any known mechanism that can explain matter production inside a star? What is the rate of production of matter?

Jul 28, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Jul 28, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Jul 28, 2016
They come to believe in their own particular "science": for them math is just for the "mainstream" since it leads to "fairy stories", instead of being what it actually is: the backbone of science

Yeah. It's a bit like watching someone trying to tell you that they're a grandmaster at chess without ever having played a single game or bothered to learn the rules. If they truly believe their own delusions then there's no way to dissuade them (as they will not accept a challenge to an actual match).

Science is hard. If you go by Edison then genius is "99% prespiration and 1% inspiration". Indubitably without the 1% you'll never be a genius. But just as indubitably you won't ever be a genius if you don't bother to invest the other 99% FIRST. If you skip that part you'll just end up a quack or a televangelist.

Jul 28, 2016
@antialias_physorg
I play chess (http://www.svemir...a-prsten ...) and win. You? In addition to cheer, it does not count.
@FineStructureConstant
This article is a confirmation of the growth of the body, as opposed to the collapse of a cloud. Which article you read? I'm just taking evidence publicly available and agree in logical unit. ("The observition process and the universe through datebase" http://www.svemir...ml#ring)
@Gigel
It is not difficult to calculate. ("What are the dimensions of destruction and creation in the Universe? .. Http://www.svemir...tml#12b)

Jul 28, 2016
I don't often check comments by folk I've blocked, but call this peek 'morbid curiosity'...
{shiver...}
IMHO, FSC & aa_po, you've called it right again.

Jul 28, 2016
You guys just can't think beyond the tip of your intellectual nose. Yes, there is no KNOWN mechanism to form matter from seemingly nothing. It is currently unknown to science. But yet it exists. Such a thing has many previous examples.

Gravity existed long before it was recognized.

So does the mechanism of SubQuantum mechanics. Just it is beyond science principles which require hard proof. Instead, it must be inferred from science principles. And control systems theory provides that insight, of which none of you possess.

So continue your ignorance. Be happy and stupid.

Jul 28, 2016
Such a thing has many previous examples

Ok. I'll bite. Name many
(I think you'll fail at 'one'. But you said 'many'. So please: if you start then many it shall be. One or two will not do.)

Demonstrable. By experiment. And observation. With cites in reputable scientific sources. Your chance. Now

Hic Rhodus. Hic salta.

Jul 28, 2016
Science is about hard proof. Without that, it has no facts. If something looks like being A, it doesn't mean we have to assume it's A without proof. Moreover, if there's a theory B that explains it shorter than A, then B is preferred. As time passes, B is improved and it may end up or not as being A. But without hard proof A won't be accepted. If one wants to propose A as philosophy, it's fine as long as he doesn't dress it up to look like science. Although real philosophers may have an objection to A, anyway.

Jul 28, 2016
EVERY current requires a magnetic field to confine it

Currents through conductors are not confined by the magnetic field, but by the conductor geometry.

Jul 28, 2016
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Jul 28, 2016
There's a smell of trolls in here... Troll party :)

Jul 28, 2016
Hi FineStructureConstant, antialias_physorg et al. :)

Just reading through again. I saw you ganging up on poor Tuxford. I have to ask:

If you argue against his "forming new matter" etc claims, then why use the copout of "no known mechanism" against him?

That 'counter argument' sounds ridiculous and hypocritical when you consider that (for how many decades?) the mainstream had subscribed to the "Something from Nothing" (Creation ex Nihilo) "arguments" when challenged to demonstrate the logical/physical basis for Big Bang etc hypothesis/beliefs or answer question of where energy-space came from and how it evolved into the matter observed now.

So be a little less condescending to Tuxford, ok? He isn't suggesting anything anywhere near as "unlikely" as the fantasies which Big Bang theoretical-physicists had been trying to con us all with for so many decades until they were forced to honestly face the question: "What existed before Big Bang?"

Can't stay to discuss. :)

Jul 28, 2016
@FineStructureConstant

The disk of gas away from the stars (as asteriodni belt at Sun). There are negative temperatures (C). The disc rotates around the star.
How is heated disk, which is the source? "And is still eating its surrounding disk ... 'How? Stretch forth thy hand several AU?
Whether and gonna eat us?
"And the disc will have resulted from the collapse of some part of a cloud somewhere nearby."
The disc is not a product collapse already arranged body due to the rotation.
Think you,, do not you rewrite all.

Jul 29, 2016
@FineStructureConstant

YouYou got the attack of hysteria, take a glass of water with sugar.

When you feel better read the text, then bring out, arguments, not my grandmother told ...

Jul 29, 2016
Trouble is, most of these new theories - including poor old Tuxford's, those of wduckss and the EU, to mention but a few - are so inept, so poorly thought out,

Feynman explains it best why such theories can be dismissed in this short video (for the impatient skip to the 8:12 mark. For the most impatient skip to 9:10)
https://www.youtu...apE-3FRw

He evidently doesn't realize that PDE's form an integral part of many science undergrad courses,

Much worse: he doesn't realized that actually solving PDEs on paper is not a skill that is useful in any branch of science today (as the problem spaces are so complex that you always solve numerically). The simple problems you do in math courses don't happen in real life.
Solving PDEs is a skill that is taught to beginners so that they get a feeling of what these are and how they behave. But that's about the extent of usefulness to doing so.

Jul 29, 2016
Actually solving PDEs on paper is still useful for analysing simple systems or simplified models of complex systems; also, to understand the theory behind basic phenomena. There still is a lot of theoretical work being done in all branches of physics, chemistry, engineering, not to mention mathematics. So ODEs and PDEs are still very useful at a theoretical level.

Jul 29, 2016
This high science has come to full expression at the visit of Pluto. A lot of formulas and smart heads, even more believers, nowhere skeptics..
A lot of formulas and smart heads, even more believers, nowhere skeptics.

Jul 29, 2016
Hi FineStructureConstant. :)

Relax, mate.

No one is a better friend and respecter of science and truly objective scientists than I. I never said you shouldn't challenge, refute etc what Tuxford may say/claim; I only cautioned that one must not demonstrate double standards; hence my cautioning that mainstream themselves were once 'enamored with their own fantasy' of "Creation ex Nihilo" for energy-matter, without any real explanation in physics or tenable logical reasoning in support. And nor should detractors rashly condescend to someone challenging orthodoxy; especially not using the "no known mechanism" etc arguments in a discussion which may also lead to discussion of such a possible mechanism if allowed to discuss without closing it down with personal insults and intolerance because of your personal opinion of the source or standing of the other person. Remember, all new 'great' scientific ideas going against orthodoxy usually "outlandish" until "accepted".

Relax. :)

Jul 30, 2016
Wasn't it Feynman who coined the phrase 'not even wrong'?

Jul 30, 2016
Wasn't it Feynman who coined the phrase 'not even wrong'?

No; it was Wolfgang Pauli who is alleged to have said it.

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