APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby APOD Robot » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:08 am

Image Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula

Explanation: It's stars versus dust in the Carina Nebula and the stars are winning. More precisely, the energetic light and winds from massive newly formed stars are evaporating and dispersing the dusty stellar nurseries in which they formed. Located in the Carina Nebula and known informally as Mystic Mountain, these pillar's appearance is dominated by the dark dust even though it is composed mostly of clear hydrogen gas. Dust pillars such as these are actually much thinner than air and only appear as mountains due to relatively small amounts of opaque interstellar dust. About 7,500 light-years distant, the featured image was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope and highlights an interior region of Carina which spans about three light years. Within a few million years, the stars will likely win out completely and the entire dust mountain will evaporate.

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RocketRon

Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby RocketRon » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:40 am

Very detailed scenic view.

Has anyone suggested how old these dust clouds are,
or how they may have formed like that ?

Has anyone estimated the actual likely tonnage of dust involved ?
How would such a tonnage be calculated ?

Has anyone suggested what the dust may actually consist of ??
Yes, stardust, but what compositions would that likely involve....

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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Astronymus » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:18 am

Notice the jets the new formed stars shoot out of their nurseries.

htraE

Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby htraE » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:25 am

Kinda reminds us what much of the universe looked like in the early days.

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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby neufer » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:22 am

htraE wrote:
Kinda reminds us what much of the universe looked like in the early days.

Some of us here are too young to remember.
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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Ann » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:46 am

RocketRon wrote:Very detailed scenic view.

Has anyone suggested how old these dust clouds are,
or how they may have formed like that ?

Has anyone estimated the actual likely tonnage of dust involved ?
How would such a tonnage be calculated ?

Has anyone suggested what the dust may actually consist of ??
Yes, stardust, but what compositions would that likely involve....


I feel very stumped trying to write an answer on my little Ipad, but here goes. I would think that the dust is pretty ordinary space dust, made of grains of silicates and perhaps carbon components, mixed with various ices.

As for how much dust there is in the particular cloud that is the focus of today's APOD, I have no idea. But surely that dust mountain is many light-years tall and wide? If the Earth was to be crushed into smithereens (perish the thought) and if it was to form one big dust cloud, how big would that cloud be if it was as substantial-looking as the dust mountain of the APOD?

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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby neufer » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:53 pm

RocketRon wrote:
Has anyone estimated the actual likely tonnage of dust involved ?
How would such a tonnage be calculated ?

The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has detected more than 14,000 stars in the Carina Nebula.

Assuming that there is approximately 14,000 solar masses worth of gas & dust
then this represents around:

    1) 40 solar masses of carbon (0.3% abundance) and
    2) 9 solar masses of silicon (0.065% abundance).
where one solar mass = 2 x 1030 kg = 333,000 Earth masses.
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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby E Fish » Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:01 pm

Is that a bowshock to the left of the top right pillar? It looks like another picture I've seen of a new star blowing away the dust from a forming protostar. And if so, are the jets to the right of it part of that particular event or are they separate?

zendae1

Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby zendae1 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:17 pm

Would these dust clouds be invisible to us if we could theoretically be right in front of the boundary that we see in the photo?

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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Chris Peterson » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:19 pm

RocketRon wrote:Has anyone suggested how old these dust clouds are,
or how they may have formed like that ?

They are young- probably no more than a few tens of millions of years. The structure of the nebula itself was broadly created by radiation from eta Carina, but that process largely stopped after that star erupted in 1841 producing a nebula blocking the intense UV that was the driving force in moving dust around. All the individual large clumps of dust that we observe are largely created by stellar feedback processes.

Has anyone estimated the actual likely tonnage of dust involved ?

The most recent number I've seen is 33,000 solar masses. About 1% of that mass is dust, the rest is atomic or molecular gas, mainly hydrogen. Individual clumps in the nebula range from a few solar masses to about 1000 solar masses.

How would such a tonnage be calculated ?

By applying the integrated intensity of infrared emissions to some basic equations related to emissivity.

Has anyone suggested what the dust may actually consist of ??
Yes, stardust, but what compositions would that likely involve....

Mainly carbon, silicon, and oxygen.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Chris Peterson » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:22 pm

neufer wrote:
RocketRon wrote:
Has anyone estimated the actual likely tonnage of dust involved ?
How would such a tonnage be calculated ?

The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has detected more than 14,000 stars in the Carina Nebula.

Assuming that there is approximately 14,000 solar masses worth of gas & dust..

The actual value is probably about twice that. Still, your estimate and method are reasonable. It is interesting to consider, however, that just 65 of the stars in the nebula account for about 5000 solar masses, and the majority of stars are less massive than the Sun.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Chris Peterson » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:25 pm

zendae1 wrote:Would these dust clouds be invisible to us if we could theoretically be right in front of the boundary that we see in the photo?

Both the brightness of the clouds and their opacity are independent of how far away we observe them. They would always be invisible to our eyes, except to the extent that they block our view of what's beyond them. Instrumentally, they'd look the same up close, just covering a larger field of view.
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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Ann » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:09 pm

Thanks for explaining how much dust there would be in the Carina Nebula, Art and Chris! :D

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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby ta152h0 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:25 pm

this is where Zeus really got upset
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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby heehaw » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:53 pm

Interstellar smoke and mirrors! Or, Much ado about nothing!

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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Boomer12k » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:57 pm

I don't think it is a case of "Star Vs Dust".... Dust helps form stars. Stars spew dust back out... it is part of the process.

No wonder my home is dusty...
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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Chris Peterson » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:44 pm

Boomer12k wrote:I don't think it is a case of "Star Vs Dust".... Dust helps form stars. Stars spew dust back out... it is part of the process.

I don't think stars spew out much dust, unless you mean when they explode at the end of their lives.
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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby ta152h0 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:33 am

How fast does a dust particle have to hit another dust particle to melt together ?
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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby neufer » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:46 am

ta152h0 wrote:
How fast does a dust particle have to hit another dust particle to melt together ?

    It's more of a static electricity thing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_bunny wrote:
<<Dust Bunnies (or dustbunnies) are small clumps of dust that form under furniture and in corners that are not cleaned regularly. They are made of hair, lint, dead skin, spider webs, dust, and sometimes light rubbish and debris, and are held together by static electricity and felt-like entanglement. The movement of a single large particle can start the formation of a dust bunny.>>
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omphalos wrote:
<<An omphalos (ὀμφαλός means "navel") is a religious stone artifact, or baetylus. In Greek lore, Zeus sent two eagles across the world to meet at its center, the "navel" of the world. Omphalos stones marking the centre were erected in several places about the Mediterranean Sea; the most famous of those was at Delphi. Omphalos is also the name of the stone given to Cronus. In the ancient world of the Mediterranean, it was a powerful religious symbol.>>
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Jim W

Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Jim W » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:23 am

On close inspection of the mountains of dust, there appears to be a number of craters indicating a location where an object either entering or existing (or both) the collection of dust. Is there an explanation for these round crater likes shapes associated with the mountains of dust?

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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Ann » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:25 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Boomer12k wrote:I don't think it is a case of "Star Vs Dust".... Dust helps form stars. Stars spew dust back out... it is part of the process.

I don't think stars spew out much dust, unless you mean when they explode at the end of their lives.


Most red giants don't explode, and they form dust even before they go out, with a bang or a whimper.

Wikipedia wrote:

For example, the heavy elements within the silicon carbide (SiC) grains are almost pure S-process isotopes, fitting their condensation within AGB star red giant winds (...)

The SiC SUNOCONs (from supernovae) are only about 1% as numerous as are SiC stardust from AGB stars.


WWU Münster wrote:

EARTH CONTAINS MORE DUST FROM RED GIANT STARS THAN PRIMITIVE METEORITES
(...)
However, the new study now shows that the isotopic difference between Earth's mantle and meteorites does not reflect radioactive decay and early differentiation processes, but is solely due to the higher abundance of material from red giant stars in the Earth.


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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:37 am

Ann wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:
Boomer12k wrote:I don't think it is a case of "Star Vs Dust".... Dust helps form stars. Stars spew dust back out... it is part of the process.

I don't think stars spew out much dust, unless you mean when they explode at the end of their lives.


Most red giants don't explode, and they form dust even before they go out, with a bang or a whimper.

Wikipedia wrote:

For example, the heavy elements within the silicon carbide (SiC) grains are almost pure S-process isotopes, fitting their condensation within AGB star red giant winds (...)

The SiC SUNOCONs (from supernovae) are only about 1% as numerous as are SiC stardust from AGB stars.


WWU Münster wrote:

EARTH CONTAINS MORE DUST FROM RED GIANT STARS THAN PRIMITIVE METEORITES
(...)
However, the new study now shows that the isotopic difference between Earth's mantle and meteorites does not reflect radioactive decay and early differentiation processes, but is solely due to the higher abundance of material from red giant stars in the Earth.


Ann

My reading of this is that AGBs are a pretty insignificant contributor of cosmic dust.
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Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby Ann » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:05 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
My reading of this is that AGBs are a pretty insignificant contributor of cosmic dust.


Could be. (There is more of the role of red giant stars, AGB stars in particular, here.)

AGB stars do produce dust, and there are undoubtedly many more AGB stars than supernova explosions at any give time in almost any galaxy.

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zendae1

Re: APOD: Mountains of Dust in the Carina Nebula (2017 Jul 02)

Postby zendae1 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:40 pm

Thank you Chris for your explanation.


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