Hubble's View of G35.2-0.7N's Massive Star Formation

02.10.2023 posted by Admin

Hubble's Glimpse into G35.2-0.7N's Massive Star Formation

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a stunning image of G35.2-0.7N, a region renowned for its formation of massive stars. Situated about 7,200 light-years away in the Aquila constellation, this area is home to at least one B-type star. This particular star emits a potent protostellar jet, which can be seen as a dazzling display in the image.

This awe-inspiring picture taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) mounted on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope showcases G35.2-0.7N, a region that's a hotspot for the birth of massive stars. These stars are so enormous that they will eventually end their lives in spectacular supernova explosions. Yet, even during their formation, they have a profound impact on their surroundings. In this region, we find at least one B-type star, the second most massive type, and the mesmerizing light show we see in the image is the result of a powerful protostellar jet it's emitting.

This striking image was created using data primarily collected for specific research purposes, much like many other Hubble Pictures of the Week. The research conducted using this data included measuring the ionization extent in the jets ejected from the protostar hidden within G35.2-0.7N. Ionization is a process where atoms or molecules become charged, typically because they are in a high-energy environment, causing them to lose some of their electrons – the tiny negatively charged particles that orbit nuclei in atoms and molecules.

Protostellar jets are massive, focused streams of matter that shoot out from protostars. This "collimated" ejection means that the matter is expelled in parallel, column-like streams, which results in the jets extending far in relatively straight lines.

The visual outcome of this matter ejection is the stunning display we see in the image. Much of the nebula appears dark, as Hubble's view is obscured by dense dust clouds generated by these massive stars.

In the center of the image, you can spot the star's location and the jet of material it's emitting. The small, bright orange streak is a cavity in the dust created by the force of the jet as it streams toward us. As it breaks through its dusty enclosure, the jet reveals light from the protostar. However, there is still an abundance of dust, causing the light to appear as a fiery orange. The massive protostar can be found at the lower-left tip of this cavity.
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