CHANDRA/Rosette Nebula
Credit: NASA/Penn State/L. Townsley et al.

A Bouquet of Stars

Young stars are shy. They are often swaddled inside the thick clouds of gas and dust out of which they form. Studying these very young stars, while difficult, is important to understand the process of star formation. Fortunately X-ray astronomy provides an important tool for the astronomer studying young stars. This is because young stars are often strong X-ray sources, and these X-rays can penetrate the cocoons of gas and dust and give astronomers a view of these shy stars. The X-ray image above shows baby stars near the Rosette Nebula obtained by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. In this image the colors represent the energy of the emitted X-rays - red stars are dominated by low-energy X-ray emission and blue stars by high energy emission (with very little low energy emission). Astronomers believe the blue stars are deeply embedded in the Rosette cloud, while the red stars are outside this cloud. But the stars on the right side of the image are show offs - these stars are massive, with strong stellar winds, and they've blown away their stellar gas and dust cocoons.

Last Week * HEA Dictionary * Archive * Search HEAPOW * Education

Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified October 22, 2001