Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA’S Chandra S-ray observatory catches x-ray super-flares

11.05.2005


This Chandra image shows the Orion Nebula Cluster, a rich cluster of young stars observed almost continuously for 13 days.


Planetary protection: X-ray super-flares aid formation of ’solar systems’

New results from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory about the Orion Nebula imply super-flares torched our young solar system. Such X-ray flares likely affected the planet-forming disk around the early sun, and may have enhanced the survival chances of Earth.

By focusing on the Orion Nebula almost continuously for 13 days, a team of scientists used Chandra to obtain the deepest X-ray observations ever taken of any star cluster. The Orion Nebula is the nearest rich stellar nursery, located just 1,500 light years away from Earth. The Orion Nebula provides an unparalleled view of 1,400 young stars, 30 of which are prototypes of the early sun. Scientists have discovered these young stars erupt in enormous flares that dwarf, in energy, size and frequency, anything seen from our sun today. "We don’t have a time machine to see how the young sun behaved, but the next best thing is to observe sun-like stars in Orion," said Scott Wolk of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. "We are getting a unique look at stars between one and 10 million years old – a time when planets form."



A key finding is the more violent stars produce flares one hundred times as energetic as the more docile ones. This difference may specifically affect the fate of planets that are relatively small and rocky, like the Earth. "Big X-ray flares could lead to planetary systems like ours, where Earth is a safe distance from the sun," said Eric Feigelson of Penn State University in University Park. He is the principal investigator for the international Chandra Orion Ultradeep Project. "Stars with smaller flares, on the other hand, might end up with Earth-like planets plummeting into the star."

According to recent theoretical work, X-ray flares can create turbulence when they strike planet-forming disks, and this affects the position of rocky planets as they form. Specifically, this turbulence can help prevent planets from rapidly migrating towards the young star. "Although these flares may be creating havoc in the disks, they ultimately could do more good than harm," said Feigelson. "These flares may be acting like a planetary protection program."

About half of the young suns in Orion show evidence of planet-forming disks including four lying at the center of proplyds (proto-planetary disks) imaged by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. X-ray flares bombard these disks, likely giving them an electric charge. This charge, combined with motion of the disk and the effects of magnetic fields, should create turbulence in the disk.

The numerous results from the Chandra Orion Ultradeep Project will appear in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal Supplement. The team contains 37 scientists from institutions in the U.S., Italy, France, Germany, Taiwan, Japan and the Netherlands.

Megan Watzke | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cfa.harvard.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Light-emitting bubbles captured in the wild
28.02.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht Scientists reach back in time to discover some of the most power-packed galaxies
28.02.2017 | Clemson University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technology offers fast peptide synthesis

28.02.2017 | Life Sciences

WSU research advances energy savings for oil, gas industries

28.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Who can find the fish that makes the best sound?

28.02.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>