Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Herschel Views Deep-space Pearls On A Cosmic String

Date:
October 2, 2009
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
Europe's Herschel space telescope has delivered spectacular vistas of cold gas clouds lying near the plane of the Milky Way, revealing intense, unexpected activity. The dark, cool region is dotted with stellar factories, like pearls on a cosmic string.

Reservoir of cold gas in the constellation of the Southern Cross.
Credit: ESA and the SPIRE & PACS consortia

Europe's Herschel space telescope has delivered spectacular vistas of cold gas clouds lying near the plane of the Milky Way, revealing intense, unexpected activity. The dark, cool region is dotted with stellar factories, like pearls on a cosmic string.

Related Articles


On Sept. 3, Herschel aimed its telescope at a reservoir of cold gas in the constellation of the Southern Cross near the Galactic Plane. As the telescope scanned the sky, the spacecraft’s Spectral and Photometric Imaging REceiver, SPIRE, and Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer, PACS instruments snapped the pictures. The region is located about 60 from the Galactic Centre, thousands of light-years from Earth.

The five original infrared wavelengths have been colour-coded to allow scientists to differentiate extremely cold material (red) from the surrounding, slightly warmer stuff (blue).

The images reveal structure in cold material in our Galaxy, as we have never seen it before, and even before a detailed analysis, scientists have gleaned information on the quantity of the material, its mass, temperature, composition and whether it is collapsing to form new stars.

That a dark, cool area such as this would be bustling with activity, was unexpected. But the images reveal a surprising amount of turmoil: the interstellar material is condensing into continuous and interconnected filaments glowing from the light emitted by new-born stars at various stages of development. Ours is a tireless Galaxy constantly forging new generations of stars.

Stars form in cold, dense environments, and in these images it is easy to locate the star-forming filaments that would be very difficult to isolate in a single-wavelength image.

Traditionally, in a crowded region like this, situated in the plane of our Galaxy and containing many molecular clouds along the line of sight, astronomers have had a difficult time resolving details. But Herschel’s sophisticated infrared instruments made short work of the task, seeing through the dust that is opaque to visible light, and seeing the glow from the dust itself. These observations are not possible from ground.

The result is a view of an incredible network of filamentary structures, and features indicating a chain of near-simultaneous star-formation events, glittering like strings of pearls deep in our Galaxy.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Herschel Views Deep-space Pearls On A Cosmic String." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002093801.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2009, October 2). Herschel Views Deep-space Pearls On A Cosmic String. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002093801.htm
European Space Agency. "Herschel Views Deep-space Pearls On A Cosmic String." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002093801.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) Scientists working with NASA&apos;s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California discovered an unexpected moon while observing asteroid 2004 BL86 during its recent flyby past Earth. Credit to &apos;NASA JPL&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Eleven years ago NASA&apos;s Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was only supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then it has traveled 25.9 miles (41.7 kilometers), further than any other off-Earth surface vehicle has ever driven. Credit to &apos;NASA&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) NASA&apos;s New Horizons probe is en route to snap a picture of Pluto this summer, but making sure it doesn&apos;t miss its one chance to do so starts now. 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