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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.



Young Suns of NGC 7129 
Image Credit & Copyright [2]Johannes Schedler (Panther Observatory [3])

Explanation: Young suns still lie within dusty NGC 7129 [4], some 3,000 light-years away toward the royal constellation Cepheus [5]. While these stars [6] 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 [7] are the lovely bluish dust clouds that reflect [8] the youthful starlight. But the compact, deep red crescent shapes are also markers of energetic, young stellar objects. Known as Herbig-Haro [9] objects, their shape and color is characteristic of glowing hydrogen gasshocked by jets [10] streaming away from newborn stars. Paler, extended filaments of redish emission [11] mingling with the bluish clouds are caused by dust grains effectively converting the invisible ultraviolet starlight to visible red light through photoluminesence [12]. Ultimately the natal gas and dust in the region will be dispersed, the stars drifting apart [13] as the loose cluster orbits the center of the Galaxy. At the estimated distance of NGC 7129 [14], this telescopic view spans about 40 light-years.

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URL to article: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/astronomy-picture-of-the-day-80/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/NGC7129_schedler_c70.jpg

[2] Copyright: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply

[3] Panther Observatory: http://panther-observatory.com/

[4] within dusty NGC 7129: http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/image_galleries/legacy/spitzer_n7129/caption.html

[5] constellation Cepheus: http://www.astropix.com/HTML/E_SUM_N/CEPHEUSO.HTM

[6] these stars: http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4252

[7] the sharp image: http://panther-observatory.com/gallery/deepsky/doc/NGC7129_STX.htm

[8] that reflect: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap011228.html

[9] Herbig-Haro: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbig-Haro_object

[10] shocked by jets: http://sparky.rice.edu/~hartigan/movies.html

[11] redish emission: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0309674

[12] photoluminesence: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051229.html

[13] stars drifting apart: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_cluster#Eventual_fate

[14] NGC 7129: http://www.noao.edu/outreach/aop/observers/n7129.html

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