Monday, August 20, 2012
Two European telescopes get into a nebula
The region of the Eagle Nebula has a depth of tens of light years and is in the process of giving life to new stars.
European astronomy has scored two major successes in the study of outer space.
Herschel Space Telescope, the European Space Agency (ESA) has produced a new version of a classic astronomical target: the Eagle Nebula also called M16.
Other European telescope, XMM-Newton has provided images of the celestial phenomenon also novel.
In the case of Herschel, the remarkable things is that for the first time achieved venture into the nebula and obtain images of the cloud of dust and gas inside.
The ESA said the images "make possible seek new stars at a much larger region and gain access to a broader understanding of the creative and destructive forces operating within the nebula."
This nebula is a dense region of gas and dust about 6,500 light years from Earth, which houses a number of new and bright stars, as an "incubator".
The radiation from these objects sculpted clouds of gas and dust, producing great columns and curtains of material in some places, says the scientific affairs correspondent Jonathan Amos BBC.
It depends on the lens through which they look
Iconic pillars: the Hubble telescope (right) sees the light scattered from the columns, the Herschel (left) detects the pillars shining in their own light.
In this photo, on the right, the columns are dubbed the "Pillars of Creation", when they were captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 U.S. and considered one of the icons of the twentieth century space.
But Herschel and Hubble see different things in the nebula.
Hubble is sensitive to optical light, the kind of light we detect with our eyes, which is easily blocked or scattered by dust and shows us just how the rolling clouds of material.
Instead Herschel is sensitive to radiation of a wavelength much greater, far infrared. This detects the broadcast straight from the cold gas and dust that covers much of the region.
These images allowed scientists to intuit the incubator of stars within the nebula, in the cluster known as' evaporating gaseous globules "but did not prove the formation of these young stars, because of the darkness that caused the dust in the nebula.
The Herschel telescope's ability lets you see inside the pillars and curtains, in places where the dense gas falls by gravity to trigger the nuclear reactions that give rise to new stars.
That dust is the material that will form the next generation of stars.
The Herschel image is false color, the blue material is relatively warm and relatively cold redder. Relatively, because temperatures are 200 degrees Celsius.
Two telescopes, European pride
Note the difference between the two telescopes of the ESA that have achieved the new images and delve ever seen before thanks to Hubble.
The Herschel infrared wavelength long, allows astronomers to see inside the pillars and structures in the region, which will expand in its hunt for new stars.
The XMM-Newton, of short wavelength infrared, try these hot young stars are responsible for carving the pillars of creation, according to ESA.
The XMM-Newton sees the emission energy of the group of new stars NGC6611 (right). The photo on the left combines data from XMM and Herschel. Different images help scientists interpret events occurring about 6,500 light years from Earth.
The agency also released a picture of wavelength of X-rays from the central portion of the nebula.
The image, taken by the XMM-Newton telescope, focused group of new hot stars that are shaping the region.
The intense radiation of this group of stars, known as NGC6611, is eroding the famous pillars.
Scientists are using XMM data to try to find the remains of a giant star exploded believed for thousands of years.
If we could transport ourselves to the Eagle Nebula now, we could see that the supernova explosion that killed the pillars.
But due to the great distance that separates us from it, it is possible that the fate of the pillars not know until within a long time.
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