HEAPOW: Breaking Down the Pillars (2023 Mar 27)

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HEAPOW: Breaking Down the Pillars (2023 Mar 27)

Post by bystander » Tue Apr 04, 2023 5:17 am

Image Breaking Down the Pillars

The ways that stars and planets form is a fascinating process. But many details are hidden behind the dust clouds which provide the raw material out of which stars and planets form. Young stars are often hyperactive, screaming out because their magnetic fields get tangled or because of strong stellar winds which can carry immense amounts of energy. This activity generates X-rays. X-radiation can penetrate through very thick clouds, giving astronomers a view of the otherwise hidden secrets of young stars. The image above shows an X-ray image by the Chandra observatory of a field of young stars. The stars are the colored, which represents the energy of the emitted X-rays: blue for predominantly high-energy X-ray sources, red for predominantly low energy X-ray emitting sources. This field includes the famous "Pillars of Creation", stunning columns of gas and dust within which stars are forming, shown in the inset optical image from the Hubble Space Telescope. Chandra lets astronomers peer deep inside the cold Pillars to reveal the hidden hot stars within.

CXC: Peering Into the Pillars Of Creation
ApJ: Embedded Young Stellar Objects near the Pillars of Creation

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