APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

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APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Jan 10, 2023 5:09 am

Image NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula

Explanation: Stars are forming in the gigantic dust pillar called the Cone Nebula. Cones, pillars, and majestic flowing shapes abound in stellar nurseries where clouds of gas and dust are sculpted by energetic winds from newborn stars. The Cone Nebula, a well-known example, lies within the bright galactic star-forming region NGC 2264. The featured image of the Cone was captured recently combining 24-hours of exposure with a half-meter telescope at the El Sauce Observatory in Chile. Located about 2,500 light-years away toward the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros), the Cone Nebula's conical pillar extends about 7 light-years. The massive star NGC 2264 IRS, is the likely source of the wind sculpting the Cone Nebula and lies off the top of the image. The Cone Nebula's reddish veil is produced by glowing hydrogen gas.

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Re: APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

Post by Ann » Tue Jan 10, 2023 6:45 am

ConeNebula_Dieterich_960[1].jpg
NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Matthew Dieterich

Today's APOD is a superb image! The details in the Cone Nebula are gloriously brought out, and I love the faint red glow of Hα emission at the Cone Nebula's top. That is hydrogen being ionized by a nearby ultraviolet source and made to glow red.

So what is that ultraviolet source?


In the infrared image above, you can see the tall shape and whitish head of the Cone Nebula at left. Just above the Cone Nebula, there is a brilliant star (shown in pink). I guess this is the star that today's caption referred to:
APOD Robot wrote:
The massive star NGC 2264 IRS, is the likely source of the wind sculpting the Cone Nebula and lies off the top of the image.
Please note, too, that the Cone Nebula is the same sort of pillar as the Pillars of Creation:

stsci-01gfnn3pwjmy4rqxkz585bc4qh[1].png
The Pillars of Creation. Credits:
NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI;
Joseph DePasquale, Anton M. Koekemoer, Alyssa Pagan.

Pillars always point at the ultraviolet, ionizing source. I love this image of the Dark Tower (which is a sort of pillar) and the brilliant cluster NGC 6231:

Dark Tower in Scorpius and NGC 6231 by Gerald Rhemann.png
The Dark Tower in Scorpius at upper right
and brilliant cluster NGC 6231 at lower left.
Credit: Gerald Rhemann.

Ann
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Re: APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Jan 10, 2023 1:24 pm

ConeNebula_Dieterich_1370.jpg
Your imagination can run wild looking at this
image! :lol2:
istockphoto-175194979-612x612.jpg
Nothing like a good stretch in the morning!
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Re: APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

Post by Fred the Cat » Tue Jan 10, 2023 5:22 pm

My first thoughts revolved around how many stars and planets does an area of the size and density of the Cone Nebula represent?

The nebular hypothesis speaks to the process why these clouds form components, and are essential in the universe for the star and planet accretion, but is how many may eventually develop up for grabs :?: I found this video impression fascinating. :yes:
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Re: APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

Post by AVAO » Tue Jan 10, 2023 8:04 pm

Fred the Cat wrote: Tue Jan 10, 2023 5:22 pm My first thoughts revolved around how many stars and planets does an area of the size and density of the Cone Nebula represent?

The nebular hypothesis speaks to the process why these clouds form components, and are essential in the universe for the star and planet accretion, but is how many may eventually develop up for grabs :?: I found this video impression fascinating. :yes:

APOD 2000 February 19: Young Suns
...This young and massive star NGC2264 IRS was found to be surrounded by six "baby" sun-like stars - all within less than a tenth of a light-year of their "big brother" (or mother?). Astronomers believe that the high speed winds generated by the massive star compressed nearby material causing the formation of the smaller stars in a text book example of triggered star formation..."
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000219.html

I also find this cascading development model very interesting. it could help to make easier to explain the structure of star clusters.

Image
Credit: R. Thompson, M. Rieke and G. Schneider (Univ. Arizona), NASA


Image

Image
jac berne (flickr)

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Re: APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

Post by johnnydeep » Tue Jan 10, 2023 9:47 pm

Wait a minute now. The link https://esahubble.org/images/opo9716a/ show NGC 2264 IRS as the likely source of the stellar wind sculpting the cone nebula. But the picture used seems to show them pretty far apart. Just how far apart are they?

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Re: APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Jan 11, 2023 12:21 am

johnnydeep wrote: Tue Jan 10, 2023 9:47 pm Wait a minute now. The link https://esahubble.org/images/opo9716a/ show NGC 2264 IRS as the likely source of the stellar wind sculpting the cone nebula. But the picture used seems to show them pretty far apart. Just how far apart are they?

I do not read that as suggesting this star created or sculpted the Cone Nebula.
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Re: APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

Post by Ann » Wed Jan 11, 2023 6:13 am

Chris Peterson wrote: Wed Jan 11, 2023 12:21 am
johnnydeep wrote: Tue Jan 10, 2023 9:47 pm Wait a minute now. The link https://esahubble.org/images/opo9716a/ show NGC 2264 IRS as the likely source of the stellar wind sculpting the cone nebula. But the picture used seems to show them pretty far apart. Just how far apart are they?

I do not read that as suggesting this star created or sculpted the Cone Nebula.
No, the ESA/Hubble link does not suggest that NGC 2264 IRS is the likely source of the stellar wind sculpting the Cone Nebula.

But the APOD caption does suggest that this is so:
APOD Robot wrote:
The massive star NGC 2264 IRS, is the likely source of the wind sculpting the Cone Nebula and lies off the top of the image.
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Re: APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

Post by Ann » Wed Jan 11, 2023 11:32 am

So how far away is NGC 2264 IRS from the Cone Nebula?


In the picture above you can see the Cone Nebula, and then above it a bright blue star, and then above the star a gray area. That gray area corresponds to the position of NGC 2264 IR.

Is that far?
NASA wrote:
The entire (Cone) nebula is 7 light years in length.
So if we assume that NGC 2264 IR is located perfectly above the Cone Nebula, and not in the foreground or in the background, then the distance between the top of the Cone nebula and NGC 2264 IR should be less than 4 light-years. I think that a massive star can influence its surroundings for a much greater distance than that.

But I'm not convinced that a star that is still inside its own birth nebula is powerful enough to sculpt the Cone Nebula on its own. There is another suspect a bit farther away:

Cone Nebula 15 Mon annotated Graem Lourens.png
Cone Nebula and NGC 2264 wide field.
Credit: Graem Lourens.

Take a look at picture of the Cone Nebula and Christmas Tree region by Graem Lourens. All the red nebulosity in that picture is being ionized by the central star, 15 Mon, a hot O-type star of spectral class O7.

The distance between 15 Mon and the Cone Nebula is perhaps 30 light-years. I find it not at all unreasonable that a hot O-type star can ionize gas and sculpt nebulas over that sort of distance.

Now take a look at the low, rounded "pillar" on the other side of 15 Mon. To me it is obvious that this "pillar" is being sculpted by 15 Mon. And if that thing is being sculpted by 15 Mon, why shouldn't the Cone Nebula be, too?

There are more relatively hot stars and a lot of starforming activity close to the Cone Nebula than there are close to the opposite "pillar". So in all probability, other sources of ultraviolet light and stellar winds are also playing a part in sculpting the Cone Nebula.

But 15 Mon is doing its part too, I'm sure.

Ann
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Re: APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Jan 11, 2023 4:03 pm

Ann wrote: Wed Jan 11, 2023 6:13 am
Chris Peterson wrote: Wed Jan 11, 2023 12:21 am
johnnydeep wrote: Tue Jan 10, 2023 9:47 pm Wait a minute now. The link https://esahubble.org/images/opo9716a/ show NGC 2264 IRS as the likely source of the stellar wind sculpting the cone nebula. But the picture used seems to show them pretty far apart. Just how far apart are they?

I do not read that as suggesting this star created or sculpted the Cone Nebula.
No, the ESA/Hubble link does not suggest that NGC 2264 IRS is the likely source of the stellar wind sculpting the Cone Nebula.

But the APOD caption does suggest that this is so:
APOD Robot wrote:
The massive star NGC 2264 IRS, is the likely source of the wind sculpting the Cone Nebula and lies off the top of the image.
Ann
Exactly what I was going to reply. And I agree with your follow-up post about 15 Mon being the other possible source of the winds sculpting the Cone Nebula. Still surprised though that stars - even massive ones - 4 or more light years away can affect dust clouds at all, even with the dust clouds being much less dense in reality than they always appear in these images!
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Re: APOD: NGC 2264: The Cone Nebula (2023 Jan 10)

Post by AVAO » Wed Jan 11, 2023 7:34 pm

Ann wrote: Wed Jan 11, 2023 11:32 am So how far away is NGC 2264 IRS from the Cone Nebula?


In the picture above you can see the Cone Nebula, and then above it a bright blue star, and then above the star a gray area. That gray area corresponds to the position of NGC 2264 IR.

Is that far?
NASA wrote:
The entire (Cone) nebula is 7 light years in length.
So if we assume that NGC 2264 IR is located perfectly above the Cone Nebula, and not in the foreground or in the background, then the distance between the top of the Cone nebula and NGC 2264 IR should be less than 4 light-years. I think that a massive star can influence its surroundings for a much greater distance than that.

But I'm not convinced that a star that is still inside its own birth nebula is powerful enough to sculpt the Cone Nebula on its own. There is another suspect a bit farther away:

Cone Nebula 15 Mon annotated Graem Lourens.png
Cone Nebula and NGC 2264 wide field.
Credit: Graem Lourens.

Take a look at picture of the Cone Nebula and Christmas Tree region by Graem Lourens. All the red nebulosity in that picture is being ionized by the central star, 15 Mon, a hot O-type star of spectral class O7.

The distance between 15 Mon and the Cone Nebula is perhaps 30 light-years. I find it not at all unreasonable that a hot O-type star can ionize gas and sculpt nebulas over that sort of distance.

Now take a look at the low, rounded "pillar" on the other side of 15 Mon. To me it is obvious that this "pillar" is being sculpted by 15 Mon. And if that thing is being sculpted by 15 Mon, why shouldn't the Cone Nebula be, too?

There are more relatively hot stars and a lot of starforming activity close to the Cone Nebula than there are close to the opposite "pillar". So in all probability, other sources of ultraviolet light and stellar winds are also playing a part in sculpting the Cone Nebula.

But 15 Mon is doing its part too, I'm sure.

Ann

ThanX Ann

I would support your hypothesis as well, since the little finger on the lower right is pointing exactly at 15 Mon.
(However, the arch itself is composed of various rotating jets from several local Herbig-Haro objects like HH124, so that its shape is not very meaningful.)

Image
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/526 ... 5bb6_o.jpg

Image
jac berne (flickr)

Older discussion:
viewtopic.php?t=21312

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070412.html

Why do all links from APOD discussions before 2012 June 30 lead to nowhere?
Has the APOD discussion forum only existed since then?