Posts Tagged ‘V380 Orionis’

Billowy Flower

Z. Levay (STScI/AURA/NASA), T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage) and H. Schweiker (NOAO/AURA/NSF)

Billowy filaments of gas and dust create the flower shaped NGC 1999 in this image from the National Science Foundation’s Mayall 4-meter telescope on Kitt Peak.

Zoom into the network of filaments, jets, arcs and clouds. What pictures or stories do you see? Leave a note in the comments below.

At the center of this celestial garden is the young star V380 Orionis. Instead of glowing like some nebulae, this area reflects the bright light of V380 Orionis. If you zoom in close to this bright area, look for a dark keyhole shaped area. This part of the nebula is truly empty space. But surrounding this area, powerful winds and jets from this newly formed star push material away. Eventually a cavity will be formed. For now, follow the spoke-like tendrils outward.

Two features may strike your attention. The pizza-slice shaped cloud to the right and the bright waterfall arc near the center. Both of these features are the first Herbig-Haro objects to be found. Guillermo Haro and George Herbig first described HH-1 and HH-2 in the 1950s. These objects are young stars with powerful jets. As this jet slams into the relatively calm nebula, a bow shock is created. Much like a boat moving through water, these shockwaves move the nebula aside. They move at tremendous speeds, heating the nebula and causing it to glow. The slice-shaped cloud is more than ten light-years long. Big and small Herbig-Haro objects are found throughout the image.

NGC 1999 is found about 1,500 light-years from Earth toward the constellation Orion.

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Glowing R-shaped Keyhole

NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)

A glowing R-shaped keyhole beckons in this star-forming region of the galaxy toward the constellation Orion. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows the foggy light of the reflection nebula NGC 1999.

Explore the nebula. Reflection nebulae do shine with light of their own. NGC 1999 reflect the light of a bright, recently formed star. The star called V380 Orionis glows just left of center in the image. NGC 1999 is the cloud from which the star originally formed. Because the star is still enshrouded in this cloud, astronomers believe that V380 Orionis is still very young. It’s white light indicates the star is hot; about twice as hot as our Sun at 10,000 degrees Centigrade. V380 Orionis also is about 3.5 times more massive than the Sun.

The keyhole itself is not a hole at all but an example of inky, dark star clouds called Bok globules. These cold, dense clouds of dust and gas are named after their discoverer, American astronomer Bart Bok. These clouds are so dense that they block all light behind it. Similarly on Earth, dark storm clouds block the Sun on a summer day allowing the edges to glow brightly. Astronomers believe that the globules are contracting due to their own gravity. One day, new stars may form inside these globules.

Sir William Herschel and his sister Caroline discovered NGC 1999 in the late 1700s. The nebula lies about 1,500 light-years from Earth. You can find it in night skies just below the Great Nebula in Orion, M42.

Keyhole

NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)

A glowing keyhole beckons in this star-forming region of the galaxy toward the constellation Orion. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows the foggy light of the reflection nebula NGC 1999.

Explore the nebula. Reflection nebulae do shine with light of their own. NGC 1999 reflect the light of a bright, recently formed star. The star called V380 Orionis glows just left of center in the image. NGC 1999 is the cloud from which the star originally formed. Because the star is still enshrouded in this cloud, astronomers believe that V380 Orionis is still very young. It’s white light indicates the star is hot; about twice as hot as our Sun at 10,000 degrees Centigrade. V380 Orionis also is about 3.5 times more massive than the Sun.

The keyhole itself is not a hole at all but an example of inky, dark star clouds called Bok globules. These cold, dense clouds of dust and gas are named after their discoverer, American astronomer Bart Bok. These clouds are so dense that they block all light behind it. Similarly on Earth, dark storm clouds block the Sun on a summer day allowing the edges to glow brightly. Astronomers believe that the globules are contracting due to their own gravity. One day, new stars may form inside these globules.

Sir William Herschel and his sister Caroline discovered NGC 1999 in the late 1700s. The nebula lies about 1,500 light-years from Earth. You can find it in night skies just below the Great Nebula in Orion, M42.

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