"Impossible" Star seen by Euro space telescope
2010 05 14
A vast hole in space has been unexpectedly discovered in a part of the universe thought to be packed with a cloud of dense gas and dust – the latest in a string of cosmic finds by the European Herschel infrared space telescope.
The surprising hole in space has provided astronomers with a new glimpse at the end of the star-forming process.
"No one has ever seen a hole like this," said study team member Tom Megeath of the University of Toledo in Ohio. "It’s as surprising as knowing you have worms tunneling under your lawn, but finding one morning that they have created a huge, yawning pit."
NGC 1999 is the green tinged cloud towards the top of the image. The dark spot to the right was thought to be a cloud of dense dust and gas until Herschel looked at it. It is in fact a hole that has been blown in the side of NGC 1999 by the jets and winds of gas from the young stellar objects in this region of space.
Credit: ESA/HOPS Consortium
Cloud associated with the Rosette Nebula, a stellar nursery about 5,000 light-years from Earth. The formation of new stars in galaxies like the Milky Way has declined five-fold in the last three billion years, initial findings of the European Space Agency’s Herschel telescope showed. Photo:/AFP
Stars are born in dense clouds of dust and gas, and while jets of gas have been spotted coming from young stars, the process of how a star uses this gas to disperse surrounding debris and emerge from its birth cloud has not been understood.
This latest discovery by Herschel, an infrared space telescope built by the European Space Agency, may be an unexpected step in the star-forming process.
A cloud of bright, reflective gas, known to astronomers as NGC 1999, is located next to a black patch of sky. For most of the 20th century, these black patches were understood to be dense clouds of dust and gas that block light that would normally pass through.
As Herschel’s infrared eye looked in the direction of NGC 1999 to study nearby young stars, the cloud continued to look black, even though the telescope’s infrared technology is designed to penetrate through such dense cloud material. This meant that either the cloud was immensely dense, or Herschel had happened upon a previously unexplained phenomenon.
Astronomers continued their investigation using ground-based telescopes and found the same results when looking at the patch of gas. This led to the conclusion that the patch looks black not because it is an extremely dense pocket of gas, but because it is truly empty – something had blown a hole through the cloud.
The astronomers think the hole must have been opened when the narrow jets of gas from some of the young stars in the region punctured the sheet of dust and gas that forms NGC 1999. The powerful radiation from a nearby mature star may have also helped to create the hole, researchers said.
Whatever the exact cause of the hole may be, the discovery may be an important glimpse into the way newborn stars shake off their birth clouds that helps astronomers develop a better understanding of the entire star-forming process, researchers said.
Herschel is the largest and most powerful infrared telescope in space today. The European Space Agency launched the observatory into orbit in May 2009.
Article from: Space.com
Herschel space telescope (2007)
Video from: YouTube.com
Vatican tied Mount Graham Observatory launches LUCIFER Telescope
Location chosen for European "Extremely Large Telescope"
Spacewalking Astronauts Seen With a Backyard Telescope (Video)
Robots in space: Navy will send ’bots to build lunar telescope
What space telescopes of tomorrow will see
"Red Square" Captured by Palomar and Keck Telescopes in the constellation Serpens
Search on for Death Star that throws out deadly comets
Lucus - The Destroyer Star & The Future of Mankind
Astronomers catch a shooting star for first time
Latest News from our Front Page
Israel’s Military Censors Demand ’Prior Review’ of NYT’s Gaza Reporting
2014 08 01
Following its reporting of the latest events in the Gaza Strip on Friday, including available details about an IDF soldier captured by Hamas soldiers early in the day, the New York Times was contacted by Israel’s military censor and told that future reporting related to the capture would need to be run through its office before publication.
The Times updated their ...
Wrong time, altered images: Moscow slams Kiev’s MH17 satellite data
2014 08 01
Satellite images Kiev published as ‘proof’ it didn’t deploy anti-aircraft batteries around the MH17 crash site carry altered time-stamps and are from days after the MH17 tragedy, the Russian Defense Ministry has revealed.
The images, which Kiev claims were taken by its satellites at the same time as those taken by Russian satellites, are neither Ukrainian nor authentic, according to Moscow’s ...
World’s First Man-Made Leaves Breathe Oxygen
2014 08 01
A graduate student in innovation design engineering at the UK’s Royal College of Art has created a synthetic leaf that mimics the functions of its real counterpart.
"I have the first photosynthetic material that is working and breathing as a leaf does," said Julian Melchiorri.
The synthetic leaf uses photosynthesis to produce oxygen, by absorbing light, water and carbon dioxide. The artificial ...
The £11 billion Government plan to put ’Smart meters’ in every British home
2014 08 01
The UK government plans to put smart meters into British homes, and the costs of this program will naturally be passed on to reluctant customers. Critics of the plan suggest that this would make homes and the national grid vulnerable to terrorists, but as it’s been confirmed that government agents are most often involved in terror plots, it’s not the ...
Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation
2014 08 01
The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law.
"We know that different human races actually do not exist," Swedish Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag told Sveriges Television (SVT).
"We also know that the fundamental grounds of racism are ...
|More News » |