APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

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APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:07 am

Image BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation

Explanation: How do binary stars form? To help find out, ESO's Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) recently captured one of the highest resolution images yet taken of a binary star system in formation. Most stars are not alone -- they typically form as part of a multiple star systems where star each orbits a common center of gravity. The two bright spots in the featured image are small disks that surround the forming proto-stars in [BHB2007] 11, while the surrounding pretzel-shaped filaments are gas and dust that have been gravitationally pulled from a larger disk. The circumstellar filaments span roughly the radius of the orbit of Neptune. The BHB2007 system is a small part of the Pipe Nebula (also known as Barnard 59), a photogenic network of dust and gas that protrudes from Milky Way's spiral disk in the constellation of Ophiuchus. The binary star formation process should be complete within a few million years.

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Re: APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

Post by bystander » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:12 am

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Re: APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

Post by De58te » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:59 am

I'm kind of confused by the explanation. If a proto-star in formation hasn't yet begun nuclear fusion that produces light, then what is causing the surrounding disc to glow brightly and look like stars? How can you look at that image and say that those proto-stars have no light to shine on their own but just look like new born stars? Why can't they be new stars already shinning?

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Re: APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:24 am

Behold! Baby Binary's Birth Beckons! :mrgreen: :b:
BabyBinary_Alma_960.jpg
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Re: APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:21 pm

De58te wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:59 am
I'm kind of confused by the explanation. If a proto-star in formation hasn't yet begun nuclear fusion that produces light, then what is causing the surrounding disc to glow brightly and look like stars? How can you look at that image and say that those proto-stars have no light to shine on their own but just look like new born stars? Why can't they be new stars already shinning?
Everything warmer than absolute zero is shining. In this case, we're seeing an object imaged at 1.3 mm wavelength- more than a thousand times longer than visible light. It's possible that we're seeing a gas emission line of some sort, but I suspect it's just thermal, with the streamers being maybe 10 K (very cold) and the protostars being much hotter, although still below what is required for fusion.
Chris

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Re: APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

Post by Gueststar » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:13 pm

Is the orbital/rotational period known? I imagine it's not long (months, years?). Could this be later re-imaged and named the Teddy Bear as the two stars line up horizontally/parallel to the two ''ears''?

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Re: APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

Post by Gueststar » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:38 pm

The circumstellar filaments span roughly the radius of the orbit of Neptune.
I read this as ''...the radius of Neptune.''
Thus, my guess as to the rotational period being months or years.
I would refine my question: How long before the two stars line up parallel to the two ''ears''?

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Re: APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

Post by Ann » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:58 pm

This is absolutely interesting, if only because so many stars in the Milky Way are members of binaries or multiple star systems. Of course we want to know how "twin stars" form.
61 Cygni. IndividusObservantis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
It is, by the way, my impression that the individual members of close binaries are indeed often "twins", which is to say that they are of comparable masses. Of course, even a tiny difference in mass makes a huge difference in the properties of the stars, but even so, we really do see a lot of "similarly massive binaries". Excellent examples are 61 Cygni, a pair of K-type stars, and Epsilon Lyrae, two pairs of A-type binaries.

To me, the stars of today's APOD look small, and the entire process of their formation looks, well, "puny". So I'm going to guess that the stars of the APOD are going to be M-type main sequence stars when they are "born". In other words, they are going to be little red dwarfs, the most common stars in the Universe.


High mass star formation in the Milky Way. Photo: Atlasgal.
But you know me, I prefer high-mass stars over low-mass ones. So here is a picture of high-mass star formation in the Milky Way. If you want to know more about Atlasgal and the image I posted, here is some additional info:
ESO wrote:
A spectacular new image of the Milky Way has been released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves. This is the sharpest such map yet made, and complements those from recent space-based surveys. The pioneering 12-metre APEX telescope allows astronomers to study the cold Universe: gas and dust only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero.
Ann
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Re: APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

Post by TheOtherBruce » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:39 pm

A fascinating picture. I notice there are fainter loops around the outside; presumably this is a swirly sort of connection between the brightly glowing loops of warmer gas and the surrounding much larger invisible mass of cold gas?

Now I can't help wondering what our solar system looked like at this age, with just a single point of collapse. If it was a single point — AIUI studies of the dynamics of the very early solar system haven't yet completely ruled out a second solar-sized mass accreting then being ejected before any planets began to form.
This universe shipped by weight, not by volume.
Some expansion of the contents may have occurred during shipment.

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Re: APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:49 pm

TheOtherBruce wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:39 pm
A fascinating picture. I notice there are fainter loops around the outside; presumably this is a swirly sort of connection between the brightly glowing loops of warmer gas and the surrounding much larger invisible mass of cold gas?

Now I can't help wondering what our solar system looked like at this age, with just a single point of collapse. If it was a single point — AIUI studies of the dynamics of the very early solar system haven't yet completely ruled out a second solar-sized mass accreting then being ejected before any planets began to form.
There's no likely mechanism for one star in a binary system to be ejected. That would require interaction with a third massive body. Either a near pass by another star system, or a triple star system that lost two members, leaving one.
Chris

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Re: APOD: BHB2007: A Baby Binary Star in Formation (2019 Oct 16)

Post by RJN » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:25 pm

The NASA APOD text has been edited to remove the qualifier "ESO" before ALMA due to an emailed request that such a qualifier was unfair to NRAO and NOAJ. I apologize for the oversight. - RJN