Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Cosmic Christmas Ghost

Date:
December 25, 2005
Source:
European Southern Observatory
Summary:
Just like Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol takes us on a journey into past, present and future in the time of only one Christmas Eve, two of the European Southern Observatory's telescopes captured various stages in the life of a star in a single image.

NGC 2467 and Surroundings (VLT + FORS2).
Credit: Image courtesy of European Southern Observatory

Just like Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol takes us on a journey into past, present and future in the time of only one Christmas Eve, two of the European Southern Observatory's telescopes captured various stages in the life of a star in a single image.

Related Articles


ESO PR Photo 42a/05 shows the area surrounding the stellar cluster NGC 2467, located in the southern constellation of Puppis ("The Stern"). With an age of a few million years at most, it is a very active stellar nursery, where new stars are born continuously from large clouds of dust and gas.

The image, looking like a colourful cosmic ghost or a gigantic celestial Mandrill [1] , contains the open clusters Haffner 18 (centre) and Haffner 19 (middle right: it is located inside the smaller pink region - the lower eye of the Mandrill), as well as vast areas of ionised gas.

The bright star at the centre of the largest pink region on the bottom of the image is HD 64315, a massive young star that is helping shaping the structure of the whole nebular region.

ESO PR Photo 42a/05 was taken with the Wide-Field Imager camera at the 2.2m MPG/ESO telescope located at La Silla, in Chile.

Another image of the central part of this area is shown as ESO PR Photo 42b/05. It was obtained with the FORS2 instrument at ESO's Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal, also in Chile.

ESO PR Photo 42b/05 zooms in on the open stellar cluster Haffner 18, perfectly illustrating three different stages of this process of star formation: In the centre of the picture, Haffner 18, a group of mature stars that have already dispersed their birth nebulae, represents the completed product or immediate past of the star formation process. Located at the bottom left of this cluster, a very young star, just come into existence and, still surrounded by its birth cocoon of gas, provides insight into the very present of star birth. Finally, the dust clouds towards the right corner of the image are active stellar nurseries that will produce more new stars in the future.

Haffner 18 contains about 50 stars, among which several short lived, massive ones. The massive star still surrounded by a small, dense shell of hydrogen, has the rather cryptic name of FM3060a. The shell is about 2.5 light-years wide and expands at a speed of 20 km/s. It must have been created some 40,000 years ago. The cluster is between 25,000 and 30,000 light-years away from us [2].

###

Notes

[1]: NGC 2467 is also sometimes referred as the "Skull and Crossbones".

[2]: A study of the cluster Haffner 18 is presented in Moreno-Corral et al. (2005), Rev. Mex. A&A 41, 69 and in Munari et al. (1998), MNRAS 297, 867.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Southern Observatory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Southern Observatory. "The Cosmic Christmas Ghost." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051224095241.htm>.
European Southern Observatory. (2005, December 25). The Cosmic Christmas Ghost. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051224095241.htm
European Southern Observatory. "The Cosmic Christmas Ghost." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051224095241.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) An invisible barrier is keeping dangerous super fast electrons from interfering with our atmosphere, but scientists aren't entirely sure how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut safely docks with the International Space Station, according to NASA. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
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