Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hubble panoramic view of Orion Nebula reveals thousands of stars

12.01.2006


Hubble’s sharpest view of the Orion Nebula This dramatic image offers a peek inside a cavern of roiling dust and gas where thousands of stars are forming. The image, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, represents the sharpest view ever taken of this region, called the Orion Nebula. More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this image. Some of them have never been seen in visible light. These stars reside in a dramatic dust-and-gas landscape of plateaus, mountains, and valleys that are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon.


In one of the most detailed astronomical images ever produced, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is offering an unprecedented look at the Orion Nebula. This turbulent star-formation region is one of astronomy’s most dramatic and photogenic celestial objects.

The crisp image reveals a tapestry of star formation, from the dense pillars of gas and dust that may be the homes of fledgling stars to the hot, young, massive stars that have emerged from their gas-and-dust cocoons and are shaping the nebula with their powerful ultraviolet light.

The new picture reveals large-scale structures never seen before, according to C. Robert O’Dell of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, USA "Only with the Hubble Space Telescope can we begin to understand them," O’Dell said.



In a mosaic containing a billion pixels, Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) uncovered 3,000 stars of various sizes. Some of them have never been spied in visible light. Some are merely 1/100 the brightness of stars seen previously in the nebula.

Among the stars Hubble spotted are possible young brown dwarfs, the first time these objects have been seen in the Orion Nebula in visible light. Brown dwarfs are so-called "failed stars." These cool objects are too small to be ordinary stars because they cannot sustain nuclear fusion in their cores the way our Sun does.

The Hubble Space Telescope also spied for the first time a small population of possible binary brown dwarfs – two brown dwarfs orbiting each other. Comparing the characteristics of newborn stars and brown dwarfs in their natal environment provides unique information about how they form.

"The wealth of information in this Hubble survey, including seeing stars of all sizes in one dense place, provides an extraordinary opportunity to study star formation," said Massimo Robberto of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, USA, and leader of the observations. "Our goal is to calculate the masses and ages for these young stars so that we can map their history and get a general census of the star formation in that region. We can then sort the stars by mass and age and look for trends."

Robberto will present his results on Jan. 11 at the 207th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington DC, USA.

The Orion Nebula is a perfect laboratory to study how stars are born because it is 1,500 light-years away, a relatively short distance within our 100,000 light-year wide galaxy. Astronomers have a clear view into this crowded stellar maternity ward because massive stars in the centre of the nebula have blown out most of the dust and gas in which they formed, carving a cavity in the dark cloud.

"In this bowl of stars we see the entire star formation history of Orion printed into the features of the nebula: arcs, blobs, pillars, and rings of dust that resemble cigar smoke," Robberto said. "Each one tells a story of stellar winds from young stars that impact the stellar environment and the material ejected from other stars. This is a typical star-forming environment. Our Sun was probably born 4.5 billion years ago in a cloud like this one."

This extensive study took 105 Hubble orbits to complete (each orbit takes 96 minutes). All imaging instruments aboard the telescope – the ACS, Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, and Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer – were used simultaneously to study the nebula. The ACS mosaic covers approximately the apparent angular size of the full moon.

Lars Christensen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/html/heic0601.html
http://www.eso.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms
17.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht New functional principle to generate the „third harmonic“
16.02.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

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: 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...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

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

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>