Found within the Small Magellanic Cloud – a galactic neighbor of the Milky Way – the large region of ionized hydrogen gas is designated "LHa115-N19," and "contains a number of massive stars and overlapping supernova remnants," said Rosa Williams, an astronomer at the U. of I. "We can tell there has been a fair amount of stellar activity going on."
From birth to death, massive stars have a tremendous impact on their surroundings. While alive, these stars generate stellar winds that push away nearby gas and dust, forming low-density cavities inside expanding bubbles. When the stars die, shock waves from their death throes can enlarge those bubbles into huge supernova remnants.
"In N19, we have not one star, but a number of massive stars blowing bubbles and we have several supernova remnants," Williams said. "Some of these cavities may overlap with one another. Eventually, these bubbles could merge into one enormous cavity, called a superbubble."
To identify the locations of massive stars, stellar-wind bubbles and supernova remnants in N19, Williams and colleagues combined optical images, X-ray data and spectroscopic measurements.
"We caught this particular region of N19 at a neat moment in time," Williams said. "The stars are just dispersed enough that their stellar winds and supernova blasts are working together, but have not yet carved out a full cavity. We are witnessing the birth of a superbubble."
The behavior of matter and energy within a superbubble has implications for the formation of planetary systems, said Williams, who will present her team's findings at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, on Tuesday (Jan. 9).
During its life and death, a massive star forges the heavy elements that enrich the interstellar medium and form planets. "Our own solar system may have formed within the confines of a superbubble," said Williams, who uses an analogy with people to help explain her interest in superbubbles.
"Some people live pretty independently in isolated country houses, while others live in large cities that require a centralized structure," Williams said. "In N19, we are looking at a possible bridge between an individual star living its life and dying its death, and a community of stars, where living and dying affects other stars and planets, and creates a structure around them."
James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
Astronomers release most complete ultraviolet-light survey of nearby galaxies
18.05.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
A quantum entanglement between two physically separated ultra-cold atomic clouds
17.05.2018 | University of the Basque Country
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology