Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

X-Ray Emissions Detected From Elusive Cosmic Objects

Date:
October 25, 2001
Source:
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
A type of celestial object that has long stumped astronomers has been found to emit X-rays, thus proving a theory of how the objects form.

A type of celestial object that has long stumped astronomers has been found to emit X-rays, thus proving a theory of how the objects form.

Dr. Steven Pravdo of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and other scientists have concluded that these objects, called Herbig Haro objects, are produced by high velocity shocks. Pravdo is the lead author of a paper published in the Oct. 18 issue of the journal Nature.

Herbig Haro objects are found in regions where new stars are forming. They are nebulae, or dust and gas clouds. They form when high-velocity gas emitted from young stars collides with clouds of interstellar material. The collision heats the gas in the surrounding nebula to sufficiently high temperatures to produce X-rays.

Observations for the past 20 years showed no evidence of X-ray emission from these objects, which are named for astronomers George Herbig and Guillermo Haro. Previous instruments lacked the resolution and sensitivity necessary to ‘see’ these X-rays. The discovery of the X-ray emissions was possible through the very powerful Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer on NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, which has been in orbit since 1999.

On Oct. 8, 2000, astrophysicists used the instrument to study HH 2, one of the brightest and closest Herbig Haro objects in the Orion Nebula. They determined that HH2 contains shock-heated material with a temperature of about 1 million degrees Kelvin (about 1 million degrees Fahrenheit). Pravdo and his team used three criteria to rule out the possibility that the emissions came from any other source. First, Chandra’s high spatial resolution pinpointed the location of the X-rays at HH 2. Second, the X-rays appeared to be covering a region bigger than a star. Third, the temperature of the X-rays was about 1 million degrees, cooler than nearby X-ray stars. One million degrees is about the temperature expected if material moving at about 300 kilometers per second (about 600,000 miles per hour) collides. At this speed, you could go from Los Angeles to San Diego and back in one second.

The principal investigator of the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer, Dr. Gordon Garmire of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, is a co-author of the paper. Other co-authors include Drs. Yohko Tsuboi, Yoshitomo Maeda and Eric Feigelson, all from Pennsylvania State University, and Dr. John Bally from the University of Colorado, Boulder. The Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer X-ray camera was developed for NASA by Pennsylvania State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program. TRW, Inc., Redondo Beach, Calif., is the prime contractor for the spacecraft. The Smithsonian's Chandra X-ray Center controls science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

Images associated with this release are available online at:

http://chandra.harvard.edu

or

http://chandra.nasa.gov.

The Chandra X-ray Observatory is managed for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "X-Ray Emissions Detected From Elusive Cosmic Objects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011023072956.htm>.
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. (2001, October 25). X-Ray Emissions Detected From Elusive Cosmic Objects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011023072956.htm
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "X-Ray Emissions Detected From Elusive Cosmic Objects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011023072956.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

This Week @ NASA, October 17, 2014

NASA (Oct. 17, 2014) Power spacewalk, MAVEN’s “First Light”, Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon Might Have A Hidden Ocean

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) The smallest of Saturn's main moons, Mimas, wobbles as it orbits. Research reveals it might be due to a global ocean underneath its icy surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins