X-ray emission from Trumpler 14
Credit: ASA/CXC/PSU/L.Townsley et al.

Hot Young Stars

Starbursts are regions in galaxies where, suddenly, large numbers of stars are formed. A prime tracer of a starburst is the formation of very massive stars, which produce a lot of ultraviolet radiation, which is usually degraded into the infrared by dust. While starburst regions are bright IR sources, they also are bright X-ray sources. One of the most famous starburst-like regions in the Milky Way is the Carina Nebula, which plays host to some of the most massive stars known in our Galaxy (or, more accurately, known). Such regions are expected to be X-ray sources, due to large numbers of low mass, magnetically active, flaring stars, along with smaller numbers of massive stars, along with emission from the interaction of the winds of the massive stars with their environment. The image above, obtained by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, is an exceptional example of all this. This image shows X-ray emission from more than 1600 sources in a region of the Carina Nebula called Trumpler 14, along with diffuse emission from the interaction between the winds from the massive stars and the interstellar medium. The X-ray emission helps astronomers identify embedded sources, and shows how the stars affect their neighborhoods.

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:27:17 EDT