Space

Cosmic spider shows clear signs of active star formation

Cosmic spider shows clear sign...
Composite image of the "Spider Nebula" located on the outer edge of the Milky Way
Composite image of the "Spider Nebula" located on the outer edge of the Milky Way
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Composite image of the "Spider Nebula" located on the outer edge of the Milky Way
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Composite image of the "Spider Nebula" located on the outer edge of the Milky Way
Artists impression of the Spitzer Space Telescope
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Artists impression of the Spitzer Space Telescope
Composite image of the "Spider Nebula" located on the outer edge of the Milky Way
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Composite image of the "Spider Nebula" located on the outer edge of the Milky Way
Artists impression of the Spitzer Space Telescope
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Artists impression of the Spitzer Space Telescope
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Captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), the Spider Nebula cuts a ghostly green figure in a new image release from NASA. The composite was captured in infrared light, a spectrum ordinarily invisible to the naked eye, though in this case common colors have been assigned to the different wavelengths allowing us to view the scene unaided.

We recently took a look at an image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, displaying a stunning vista of the Milky Way's nuclear star cluster, which is believed to veil the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A* lurking at the heart of our galaxy. The newly released image of the Spider Nebula represents the polar opposite of that star panorama.

The Spider Nebula lies in almost the opposite direction to the galactic center, towards the edge of the Milky Way, some 10,000 light-years distant from Earth in the constellation Auriga, also known as the "charioteer."

Infrared light captured by 2MASS with a wavelength of 1.2 microns was assigned the color blue. Wavelengths of 3.6 microns detected by Spitzer are displayed as green, while 4.5 microns appears as red.

The Spider, like the majority of nebulae in the Milky Way, is believed to be a focal point for star creation. Such activity is easy to spot in the release as the stellar winds emanating from the vast star cluster "Stock 8," which can be observed to the center-right of the image as a concentration of bright stellar bodies, have worked to disperse the otherwise well-defined structure of the nebula.

Younger red stars can be observed in the earlier stages of their life-cycle clustered in a filament-like structure to the left of the central "tail" of the nebula.

Source: NASA

View gallery - 4 images
2 comments
ValeriyPolulyakh
Star formation is one of the least comprehended phenomenon in astrophysics. Is there a general theory of star formation? No, there is not. There is a number of models based on computer simulations which include supersonic hydrodynamics with non-ideal MHD turbulence influenced by gravity. They include the line and continuum radiative processes of the energy transfer; a number of chemical processes with dissociation, recombination and ionization, with uncertain nomenclature of atoms and molecules, unknown magnetic fields and formation and destruction of dust particles. In addition there is macrophysics that is an environment in the molecular clouds, clumps and cores; inclusion in the multiple systems, collisions among stellar systems; jets and outflows; radiation pressure. https://www.academia.edu/14720924/The_Star_Formation https://www.academia.edu/14194346/A_Gradient_Character_of_the_Outflows_and_Jets
Abbigail
I was just outside a few minutes ago looking into the night sky. My thoughts had wondered on how this all began. It took some super massive stars to live a fast life & die in such a violent explosion to produce the elements that were necessary for not just us to come into being, but, for all of that (including our planet) to survive. I took this in once again with wonder, amazement, & shear awe. I was also, once again, trying to contemplate the size (if that's the lacking of the proper word) of space it's self! My mind is at a frazzel for this once again. Thanks for reading my ramble. Abbigail