APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

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APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:06 am

Image Cygnus X: The Inner Workings of a Nearby Star Factory

Explanation: How do stars form? To help study this complex issue, astronomers took a deep infrared image of Cygnus X, the largest known star forming region in the entire Milky Way Galaxy. The above recently-released image was taken in 2009 by the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope and digitally translated into colors humans can see, with the hottest regions colored the most blue. Visible are large bubbles of hot gas inflated by the winds of massive stars soon after they form. Current models posit that these expanding bubbles sweep up gas and sometimes even collide, frequently creating regions dense enough to gravitationally collapse into yet more stars. The star factory Cygnus-X spans over 600 light years, contains over a million times the mass of our Sun, and shines prominently on wide angle infrared panoramas of the night sky. Cygnus X lies 4,500 light years away towards the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus). In a few million years, calm will likely be restored and a large open cluster of stars will remain -- which itself will disperse over the next 100 million years.

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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by Beyond » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:24 am

I especially like the Milky Way Galaxy link. I do belive that the central black hole can be seen in the middle of the water fountain. And i wonder if that's an alcoholic beverage that caused the great calm in the calm link?
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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by bystander » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:30 am

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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by Ann » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:24 am

This is certainly a most impressive image. I can easily imagine that it is a treasure trove for professional astronomers.

For me, however, the image is beautiful, yet confusing. The picture tells me no story. Yes, I can understand that it shows me the presence of a lot of dust. Yes, I can understand that the dust has different temperatures and structures. But what do those temperatures and structures mean?

Yes, I can understand that redder gas is colder and greener gas is warmer. Yes, I can understand that cool - make that cold - dust is good for making stars. And yes, I can understand that dust that is warmer has probably already been affected by the heat and radiation of of hot stars.

But I can't see where in this image stars are being born. More frustratingly for me, I can think of no way to judge how massive the stars are that are being born.
Image
For me it's like trying to read a very foreign language. The letters are beautiful but incomprehensible.


I probably shouldn't complain, because that's the way it is for very many people looking at astronomical pictures, I'm sure. The pictures are beautiful, but ultimately mysterious.



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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by saturn2 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:41 am

The star factory Cygnus X is 4,500 light-years.
Is a star factory, of the many stars,
This is very important in tha study of the galaxies.
But, how the H and dust form the stars ? What energy is forming stars?

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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by OverlordE » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:30 pm

I agree this is most impressive. With the reds and greens it would have make a great Christmas day picture. Are the clumps of lighter arrears of actual star formation?

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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:29 pm

Beyond wrote:I especially like the Milky Way Galaxy link. I do belive that the central black hole can be seen in the middle of the water fountain. And i wonder if that's an alcoholic beverage that caused the great calm in the calm link?
You mean this guy! I think he's cute! :wink: 8-)
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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:32 pm

saturn2 wrote:The star factory Cygnus X is 4,500 light-years.
Is a star factory, of the many stars,
This is very important in tha study of the galaxies.
But, how the H and dust form the stars ? What energy is forming stars?
It would be nice to watch some virtual videos of star formation! :)
Orin

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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by Byork » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:47 pm

can a image of the same region be supplies in optical light..? mine eyes do not operate in th infra red

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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by eltodesukane » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:04 pm

Byork wrote:can a image of the same region be supplies in optical light..? mine eyes do not operate in th infra red
WorldWide Telescope does that easily.

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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by Indigo_Sunrise » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:10 pm

Byork wrote:can a image of the same region be supplies in optical light..? mine eyes do not operate in th infra red


It may look something like this, in a fairly large telescope..... (But mine isn't fairly large, and this is just what I found searching online. So if anyone has anything more accurate, feel free to post!)


:mrgreen:
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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by Shazbot » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:51 pm

saturn2 wrote:The star factory Cygnus X is 4,500 light-years.
Is a star factory, of the many stars,
This is very important in tha study of the galaxies.
But, how the H and dust form the stars ? What energy is forming stars?
Gravity

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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by biddie67 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:13 pm

Shazbot wrote:
saturn2 wrote: ....... What energy is forming stars?
Gravity
This kind of apparently straight-forward cause and effect relationship bothers me.

Some time back, in a previous APOD, I had asked a question about the relationship between gravity and the fabric/network of spacetime. Chris had suggested that gravity is the result of the spacetime network being impacted. (At least, I think that is what he suggested.) What would impact the spacetime network to start with to result in the gravity to cause dust to gather?

Sorry I do struggle with this .... and doesn't static electricity play a part in dust coalescing?

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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:29 pm

biddie67 wrote:This kind of apparently straight-forward cause and effect relationship bothers me.

Some time back, in a previous APOD, I had asked a question about the relationship between gravity and the fabric/network of spacetime. Chris had suggested that gravity is the result of the spacetime network being impacted. (At least, I think that is what he suggested.) What would impact the spacetime network to start with to result in the gravity to cause dust to gather?
It's a positive feedback situation. Matter with mass creates gravity, and then that gravity attracts more matter, which increases the gravity, and so forth.
Sorry I do struggle with this .... and doesn't static electricity play a part in dust coalescing?
Almost certainly, under the right conditions. But only at certain scales- Electrical effects are probably insignificant for anything larger than dust, which is likely to be electrically neutral. Effects due to surface charge tend to require a lot of surface area compared with volume- i.e. tiny particles.

The important point is that- theoretically at least- you don't need any forces except gravity to bring together particles- even if other forces may catalyze or speed up the process in practice.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by neufer » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:10 pm

Last edited by neufer on Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: APOD: Cygnus X: The Inner Workings ... (2012 Jan 18)

Post by Beyond » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:10 pm

Thanks for that neufer. It sure does explain why stars blow up. But i still wonder why it takes them so long :?:
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