Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New observations show sun-like star in earliest stage of development

19.02.2007
Members of a research team led by the University of Colorado at Boulder have used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to peer at the embryo of an infant star in the nearby Eagle Nebula, which they believe may someday develop into a virtual twin of Earth’s sun.

The object, known as an evaporating gas globule, or EGG, has the same mass as the sun and appears to be evolving in a violent environment much like the one believed to have produced Earth’s sun, said researcher Jeffrey Linsky of JILA, a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Located in a region called the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula roughly 7,000 light-years from Earth, the object -- dubbed E42 -- is thought to be in the earliest stage astronomers have ever detected a star like the sun, said Linsky.

A new image of the Pillars of Creation, consisting of a Hubble Space Telescope image overlaid with Chandra X-ray data, was released Feb.15 by the Chandra X-ray Observatory Center in Cambridge, Mass. The image, which shows red, green and blue dots representing low-, medium- and high-energy X-rays, indicates there are relatively few X-ray sources in the pillars and suggests the Eagle Nebula is past its star-forming prime, said Linsky.

Linsky and colleagues from West Chester University in Pennsylvania, the University of Exeter in England and the University of Arizona analyzed visual and infrared emissions from the pillars to identify E42, the sun-like proto-star. E42 is located in the left pillar on the right edge of a node jutting out to the right about two-thirds of the way down the pillar.

“We think this is a very, very early version of our own sun,” said Linsky.

E42 is one of 73 EGGs discovered in the Pillars of Creation in 1996 with the Hubble Space Telescope by Arizona State University astronomer Jeff Hester and his team. While 11 of the EGGs have been determined to contain infant stellar objects, only four are massive enough to form a star. Of those, E42 is the only one that has a sun-sized mass, said Linsky.

“The four proto-stars that we have identified on the edges of the pillars are probably the youngest stars ever imaged by astronomers,” Linsky said.

While Linsky and his team used Chandra to zero in on more than 1,100 hotter, more mature stars in the Eagle Nebula, neither E42 nor the other three EGGs believed massive enough to form stars were observed to be emitting any X-rays, he said. “The results indicate young, evolving stars like E42 have not yet developed the magnetic structures needed to produce X-rays,” he said.

Earth’s sun is thought to have formed some 5 billion years ago after clouds of dust and gas were seared by ultraviolet radiation and pounded by shockwaves from one or more supernovae explosions, Linsky said. “The sun was likely born in a region like the Pillars of Creation because the chemical abundances in the solar system indicate that a supernova occurred nearby and contributed its heavy elements to the gas of which the sun and the planets formed.”

A January 2007 study by an astronomy team from France suggested the pillars were toppled some 6,000 years ago by a nearby supernova explosion, as evidenced by a glowing cloud of scorched dust adjacent to the pillars. Since the pillars are roughly 7,000 light years away, the French team contends they will still be visible from Earth as “ghost images” for another thousand years or so.

“My guess is that the shock wave from the supernova may have been far enough away so that E42 and some of the other stars may have survived,” said Linsky. “But I guess we will have to wait another thousand years or so to get the answer.”

Jeffrey Linsky | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.colorado.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>