COMETARY GLOBULES GIVE RISE TO NEWBORN STARS
Image Credit & Copyright: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ) & DSS. CLICK image for larger view and look below for information and links.
Located roughly 1300 light years distant in the constellation Pupis at the southern end of the great Gum Nebula; these objects are what are known as cometary globule complex CG30, CG31 & CG38. Created by gravity; these pockets of dense interstellar gas and dust stretch roughly one light year and are molded into their comet-like shapes through ionization by nearby stars that shower them with energetic ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
In the dense heads of these universal sculptures lie infant stars that are still undergoing formation. Over time gravity will continue to pool material into the densest regions. It will then contract, collapse and heat the local region. This process will repeat over and over until it reaches the critical point where the conditions allow for fusion to take place and the star will come to life. In the head of CG30 (top right) is Herbig-Haro object HH120 and it’s a young pre-fusion star, CG 30-IRS4.
Once fusion takes place and the stars within this complex “turn on” the material that surrounds them will be dispersed throughout the surrounding cosmos as the newborn stars stellar winds (radiation) clear the area. How many stars will be born here is unknown as some may be close to ignition but never reach that point. You see, if a star comes to life it may very well (and often does) blow away the very material another star was using to reach its ignition point.
NAME: CG30, CG31 & CG38 Complex.
WHAT IS IT?: “Cometary globules” which are dense star forming regions of gas and dust “globules” or “dark clouds” in comet-like streaming formation.
HOW BIG IS IT?: Roughly one light year in ength.
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: Roughly 1300 light years.
WHERE IS IT? (General): Southern Constellation Pupis
WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 8hr 08min 50.5s / DEC -35d 50m 54s.
NASA APOD page for this image: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131012.html
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NOAJ), Subaru 8.2 M Telescope: http://www.naoj.org/index.html