From AAS NOVA: “Featured Image: A Birthplace for Massive Stars”

AASNOVA

From AAS NOVA

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The image above is a false-color, three-wavelength infrared look at an enormous ionized cloud in which new, large stars are just beginning to form. When young, massive stars are first born within a cloud of gas and dust, they eventually become hot enough to ionize a bubble of gas around them. When stars form near each other, as in a massive cluster, the individual bubbles can combine, producing large ionized regions known as giant H II regions. In a new survey, scientists are using the FORCAST instrument on the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) to map out all of the Milky Way giant H II regions in the mid-infrared, in order to better understand the earliest stages of massive and clustered star formation.

NASA/DLR SOFIA Forcast

NASA/DLR SOFIA

W51A, shown above in two FORCAST wavelengths (20 µm shown in blue, 37 µm in green) and one Herschel (70 µm, shown in red), is one of the largest and brightest giant H 11 regions in our galaxy, and one of the first regions observed as part of the survey. A recent publication by SOFIA scientists Wanggi Lim and James De Buizer details what we’ve learned so far; check out the article below for more information, and keep an eye on AAS Nova for more on SOFIA science soon!

Citation

“Surveying the Giant H ii Regions of the Milky Way with SOFIA. I. W51A,” Wanggi Lim and James M. De Buizer 2019 ApJ 873 51.
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ab0288/meta

See the full article here .


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Stem Education Coalition

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The mission of the American Astronomical Society is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the Universe.

The Society, through its publications, disseminates and archives the results of astronomical research. The Society also communicates and explains our understanding of the universe to the public.
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Adopted June 7, 2009