APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 2940
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby APOD Robot » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:00 am

Image NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland

Explanation: For reasons unknown, NGC 6357 is forming some of the most massive stars ever discovered. This complex wonderland of star formation consists of numerous filaments of dust and gas surrounding huge cavities of massive star clusters. The intricate patterns are caused by complex interactions between interstellar winds, radiation pressures, magnetic fields, and gravity. The featured image includes not only visible light taken by the UKIRT Telescope in Hawaii (blue) as part of the SuperCosmos Sky Surveys, but infrared light from NASA's orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope (orange) and X-ray light from NASA's orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink). NGC 6357 spans about 100 light years and lies about 5,500 light years away toward the constellation of the Scorpion. Within 10 million years, the most massive stars currently seen in NGC 6357 will have exploded.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>

heehaw

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby heehaw » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:49 am

That is one heck of a picture! It is astonishing how drastic has been the improvement in astronomical pictures over the last 30 years or so. All astronomical pictures were plain black-and-white for most of my lifetime. Now they are a cornucopia of colors including, as in this beautiful one, colors representing non-visual wavelengths. What a transformation!

starsurfer
Stellar Cartographer
Posts: 2781
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby starsurfer » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:29 pm

I think someone should start Planetary Nebula Picture of the Day (PNPOD)? With nearly 3600 planetary nebulae in the Milky Way (currently known), there would be enough material for a decade!

Fred Ryan

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby Fred Ryan » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:16 pm

Hello,

I have been unable to download the images in your transmissions for over a week. This is the message I get:
Secure Connection Failed

An error occurred during a connection to apod.nasa.gov.

Cannot communicate securely with peer: no common encryption algorithm(s).

(Error code: ssl_error_no_cypher_overlap)

The page you are trying to view can not be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem. Alternatively, use the command found in the help menu to report this broken site.

Can you help?

my address is : abawqp@videotron.ca

Fred Ryan
Shawville, Quebec

thatsciencedude

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby thatsciencedude » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:56 pm

Would this region be able to harbor life or is it too hot and chaotic ?

User avatar
Case
Commander
Posts: 533
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:08 pm
Location: (52°N, 06°E)

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby Case » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:01 am

Fred Ryan wrote:Error code: ssl_error_no_cypher_overlap

The current https certificate is valid according to my browser. It was issued Wed, December 21, 2016. Perhaps the renewal coincides with your error? Perhaps they switched something which makes the new situation clash with older info that your browser has cached.
Is your browser up to date? Perhaps the latest version is also updated with regards to SSL certificates?

User avatar
Case
Commander
Posts: 533
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:08 pm
Location: (52°N, 06°E)

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby Case » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:07 am

It looks quite different from the Hubble image that we previously saw.

Guest

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby Guest » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:49 am

heehaw wrote:That is one heck of a picture! It is astonishing how drastic has been the improvement in astronomical pictures over the last 30 years or so. All astronomical pictures were plain black-and-white for most of my lifetime. Now they are a cornucopia of colors including, as in this beautiful one, colors representing non-visual wavelengths. What a transformation!


Agreed. But I still remember the first time I saw Saturn in a 4 inch telescope as a kid. It was amazing, with the rings and all, and it looked black and white. I would have that moment again.

User avatar
Case
Commander
Posts: 533
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:08 pm
Location: (52°N, 06°E)

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby Case » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:26 am

thatsciencedude wrote:Would this region be able to harbor life or is it too hot and chaotic ?
The massive stars may be too short-lived to develop life, even if the radiation is within acceptable levels. Smaller, longer living stars are better candidates.

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13119
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby Chris Peterson » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:58 am

Case wrote:
thatsciencedude wrote:Would this region be able to harbor life or is it too hot and chaotic ?
The massive stars may be too short-lived to develop life, even if the radiation is within acceptable levels. Smaller, longer living stars are better candidates.

That said, there are a lot of low mass stars in the same region. The high star density isn't promising for stable planetary systems, but... the evidence suggests that life formed on Earth almost as soon as it was cool enough for liquid water to exist on the surface. To the extent we can utilize a sample of one, life may form easily. If so, there could be a lot of life in systems like this, it's just not likely to be a stable enough environment for life to evolve to the sort of complexity we've had on Earth for the last billion or so years. But there was a long time before that where pond scum was doing extremely well.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 8381
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby Ann » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:03 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Case wrote:
thatsciencedude wrote:Would this region be able to harbor life or is it too hot and chaotic ?
The massive stars may be too short-lived to develop life, even if the radiation is within acceptable levels. Smaller, longer living stars are better candidates.

That said, there are a lot of low mass stars in the same region. The high star density isn't promising for stable planetary systems, but... the evidence suggests that life formed on Earth almost as soon as it was cool enough for liquid water to exist on the surface. To the extent we can utilize a sample of one, life may form easily. If so, there could be a lot of life in systems like this, it's just not likely to be a stable enough environment for life to evolve to the sort of complexity we've had on Earth for the last billion or so years. But there was a long time before that where pond scum was doing extremely well.


I think there were a lot of things that contributed to making the Earth so incredibly suitable for life for such a long time. Personally, I believe that G-type main sequence stars are better suited to hosting planets with life than tiny little M-type stars. That is because the habitable zone is relatively far away from the G-type main sequence star, so that solar outbursts need not be catastrophic for surface-dwelling life forms on a planet in the habitable zone. For red dwarf stars, the habitable zone is so close to the star that any stellar outbursts may be catastrophic for beings in the little red star's habitable zone.

I think there are many other things that have contributed to the Earth being so perfect for life. The Sun is a single star, and while that may not be of critical importance, I believe it helped. The orbits of the other planets are mostly quite round and "stable" (they are not really stable, but they are round and regular enough to appear stable). The Earth has remained at moderately the same temperature for billions of years, and it has had large oceans for most of its existence. When the Earth froze over, life was so well established in the oceans that it could survive under the ice cover. Also the Earth has had plate tectonics for billions of years, which has helped recycle and renew the terrestrial surface. Plate tectonics has also helped drive evolution and encourage the emergence of new life forms.

The Sun is fated to evolve into a red giant and destroy life on Earth in a few billion years. The small red dwarfs, by contrast, are likely to "calm down", and then they will settle into an incredibly long middle age span. It is certainly possible that red dwarfs are the perfect hosts of life in the long run. But I doubt that the universe is old enough for life to have emerged yet on very many planets in orbits around red dwarf stars.

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13119
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby Chris Peterson » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:09 pm

Ann wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:
Case wrote:The massive stars may be too short-lived to develop life, even if the radiation is within acceptable levels. Smaller, longer living stars are better candidates.

That said, there are a lot of low mass stars in the same region. The high star density isn't promising for stable planetary systems, but... the evidence suggests that life formed on Earth almost as soon as it was cool enough for liquid water to exist on the surface. To the extent we can utilize a sample of one, life may form easily. If so, there could be a lot of life in systems like this, it's just not likely to be a stable enough environment for life to evolve to the sort of complexity we've had on Earth for the last billion or so years. But there was a long time before that where pond scum was doing extremely well.

I think there were a lot of things that contributed to making the Earth so incredibly suitable for life for such a long time.

Well, yes. But my point was simply that life itself may form very easily, under a wide range of conditions. Earth may not be particularly special when it comes to life, just when it comes to complex life. Even here, it took a few billion years for life to escape the pond scum stage. We might well find that pond scum is everywhere in the Universe, since it doesn't require very special conditions- just a bit of energy and a bit of water. It doesn't care about unstable orbits, it doesn't care about high radiation environments, it doesn't need long-lived planetary systems.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
rstevenson
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Posts: 2412
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:24 pm
Location: Dartmouth, NS, Canada

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby rstevenson » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:09 pm

Ann wrote:I think there were a lot of things that contributed to making the Earth so incredibly suitable for life for such a long time. Personally, I believe that G-type main sequence stars are better suited to hosting planets with life than tiny little M-type stars. That is because the habitable zone is relatively far away from the G-type main sequence star, so that solar outbursts need not be catastrophic for surface-dwelling life forms on a planet in the habitable zone. For red dwarf stars, the habitable zone is so close to the star that any stellar outbursts may be catastrophic for beings in the little red star's habitable zone.

I think there are many other things that have contributed to the Earth being so perfect for life. ...

To your list I would add the Moon and the tides it causes. I suspect that has been critical in not just the evolution of life but in helping that life adapt to above water conditions.

Rob

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13119
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby Chris Peterson » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:13 pm

rstevenson wrote:
Ann wrote:I think there are many other things that have contributed to the Earth being so perfect for life. ...

To your list I would add the Moon and the tides it causes. I suspect that has been critical in not just the evolution of life but in helping that life adapt to above water conditions.

For complex life, I'd agree. For abiogenesis and simple life, probably not.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 8381
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby Ann » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:46 pm

rstevenson wrote:To your list I would add the Moon and the tides it causes. I suspect that has been critical in not just the evolution of life but in helping that life adapt to above water conditions.

Rob


Let's not forget the probability that the Moon itself might be a byproduct of a tremendous collision between the very young Earth and a Mars-sized object. Such a titanic collision must have had a tremendous impact on the Earth. For example, the Earth has a very large and massive core, which might be a legacy of this ancient collision, and the Earth's massive core might contribute to our planet's persistent magnetic field. Without a magnetic field, charged particles from the Sun might destroy the Earth's atmosphere, the way it has destroyed Mars'. Also, without a massive core, the Earth might not have plate tectonics.

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13119
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby Chris Peterson » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:58 pm

Ann wrote:Let's not forget the probability that the Moon itself might be a byproduct of a tremendous collision between the very young Earth and a Mars-sized object. Such a titanic collision must have had a tremendous impact on the Earth. For example, the Earth has a very large and massive core, which might be a legacy of this ancient collision, and the Earth's massive core might contribute to our planet's persistent magnetic field. Without a magnetic field, charged particles from the Sun might destroy the Earth's atmosphere, the way it has destroyed Mars'. Also, without a massive core, the Earth might not have plate tectonics.

Again, however, there's no reason to think that we wouldn't have had a billion years or more of simple life without these things... or indeed, to think that an atmosphere is even necessary for a planet to harbor life.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

thatsciencedude

Re: APOD: NGC 6357: Stellar Wonderland (2016 Dec 26)

Postby thatsciencedude » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:02 pm

Ok thanks for the help. The way the clouds of dust are exposed is amazing.


Return to “The Bridge: Discuss an Astronomy Picture of the Day”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests