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Astronomy Picture of the Day
Posted By Editor On October 28, 2011 @ 12:03 pm In Photo Essays | Comments Disabled
At the estimated distance of NGC 7129 (3,000 light-years), this telescopic view spans about 40 light-years.
Explanation: Young suns still lie within dusty NGC 7129 , some 3,000 light-years away toward the royal constellation Cepheus . While these stars  are at a relatively tender age, only a few million years old, it is likely that our own Sun formed in a similar stellar nursery some five billion years ago. Most noticeable in the sharp image  are the lovely bluish dust clouds that reflect  the youthful starlight. But the compact, deep red crescent shapes are also markers of energetic, young stellar objects. Known as Herbig-Haro  objects, their shape and color is characteristic of glowing hydrogen gasshocked by jets  streaming away from newborn stars. Paler, extended filaments of redish emission  mingling with the bluish clouds are caused by dust grains effectively converting the invisible ultraviolet starlight to visible red light through photoluminesence . Ultimately the natal gas and dust in the region will be dispersed, the stars drifting apart  as the loose cluster orbits the center of the Galaxy. At the estimated distance of NGC 7129 , this telescopic view spans about 40 light-years.
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URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/NGC7129_schedler_c70.jpg
 Copyright: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply
 Panther Observatory: http://panther-observatory.com/
 within dusty NGC 7129: http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/image_galleries/legacy/spitzer_n7129/caption.html
 constellation Cepheus: http://www.astropix.com/HTML/E_SUM_N/CEPHEUSO.HTM
 these stars: http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4252
 the sharp image: http://panther-observatory.com/gallery/deepsky/doc/NGC7129_STX.htm
 that reflect: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap011228.html
 Herbig-Haro: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbig-Haro_object
 shocked by jets: http://sparky.rice.edu/~hartigan/movies.html
 redish emission: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0309674
 photoluminesence: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051229.html
 stars drifting apart: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_cluster#Eventual_fate
 NGC 7129: http://www.noao.edu/outreach/aop/observers/n7129.html
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