Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Star Forming Region LH 95

click on image to enlargeCredit: Hubble Heritage Team, D. Gouliermis (MPI Heidelberg) et al., (STScI/AURA), ESA, NASA

Explanation: How do stars form? To better understand this complex and chaotic process, astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to image in unprecedented detail the star forming region LH 95 in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. Usually only the brightest, bluest, most massive stars in a star forming region are visible, but the above image was taken in such high resolution and in such specific colors that many recently formed stars that are more yellow, more dim, and less massive are also discernable. Also visible in the above scientifically colored image is a blue sheen of diffuse hydrogen gas heated by the young stars, and dark dust created by stars or during supernova explosions. Studying the locations and abundances of lower mass stars in star forming regions and around molecular clouds helps uncover what conditions were present when they formed. LH 95 spans about 150 light years and lies about 160,000 light years away toward the southern constellation of the Swordfish (Dorado).


Greg said...

How do stars form?

Don't you know?
They were created about 6 thousand years ago by this magical and invisible supreme being! Only He/She/It made them to confuse us into thinking that there just might be other life out there.
HeSheIt is tricky that way!

Seriously though, love that pic of that region of space. I think that Hubble space telescope was probably one of humanity's best creations, despite all the problems it had with its lenses.

Stardust said...

Actually greg, don't you know that they are created by me, the great Stardust? ;)

Yes, this is my favorite pic in astronomy, and stellar nurseries in general. I once saw a cartoon a long, long time ago about baby stars being born and their mom's and dad's greeting them. Kind of silly, but it stuck in my mind all these years. Wish I could remember what that cartoon was and where I can find a clip of it.