#astronomy A contemporary have a look at the Omega nebula, courtesy of the SOFIA flying observatory – Astronomy Now

January 12, 2020 - Comment

The Omega Nebula, also referred to as the Swan and acquainted to legions of newbie astronomers as M17, is among the most large star-forming areas within the Milky Means. That it resembles, to some, a swan’s swish neck is a comparatively current improvement, the results of areas that shaped individually over a number of eras


The Omega Nebula, also referred to as the Swan and acquainted to legions of newbie astronomers as M17, is among the most large star-forming areas within the Milky Means. That it resembles, to some, a swan’s swish neck is a comparatively current improvement, the results of areas that shaped individually over a number of eras of star delivery. Untangling these interactions is tough. The nebula is greater than 5,000 light-years away in Sagittarius, internet hosting greater than 100 of the Milky Means’s most large younger suns. The youngest are shrouded in cocoons of fuel and dirt, making them difficult targets for even space-based telescopes.

However the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, helps astronomers unravel the historical past of the nebula. Utilizing its dust-piercing digicam FORCAST, SOFIA has discovered 9 protostars the place clouds are within the technique of collapsing to type new stars. The info additionally exhibits how totally different areas developed throughout totally different epochs of star formation. “That is essentially the most detailed view of the nebula we’ve got ever had at these wavelengths,” stated Jim De Buizer, a senior scientist on the SOFIA Science Middle. “It’s the primary time we will see a few of its youngest, large stars and begin to actually perceive the way it developed into the long-lasting nebula we see at present.”

This composite picture of the Omega Nebula, based mostly on observations by the SOFIA observatory, the Herschel Area Telescope and the Spitzer Area Telescope, present an previous favorite in a brand new mild. The SOFIA knowledge contains blue areas close to the middle, revealing fuel heated by large stars close to the bend within the swan’s “neck,” and inexperienced areas that present mud warmed by close by new child suns. 9 beforehand unseen protostars had been noticed within the southern areas of the nebula. Pink areas signify colder mud as seen by the Herschel telescope whereas white star fields had been imaged by Spitzer. Picture: NASA/SOFIA/Lim, De Buizer, & Radomski et al.; ESA/Herschel; NASA/JPL-Caltech



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